Ventura wildfire rages over 45,500 acres, destroys more than 150 structures, triggers evacuation of 27,000

Ruben Vives, Laura J. Nelson, Sarah Parvini, Matt Hamilton, Sonali Kohli – December 5, 2017

A fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning 50,000 acres, destroying homes and forcing more than 27,000 people to evacuate.

About 3,000 homes were evacuated, a firefighter was injured and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Ventura County on Tuesday morning, as some 1,000 personnel continued to battle the Thomas fire.

Firefighters had not achieved any containment on the fire as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, as authorities expanded mandatory and voluntary evacuation areas and opened new shelters throughout the county.

“This fire is very dangerous and spreading rapidly, but we’ll continue to attack it with all we’ve got,” Brown said. “It’s critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so.”

The state sent resources to help with firefighting efforts. Ventura County officials have asked the state for eight fixed-wing firefighting aircraft to help douse the flames, said Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Donoghue.

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