'The fire is here and wrapped around' Ojai, a fire director says as his team prepares to defend the mountain town

Los Angeles Times Incident 10 months ago

Smoke from the Thomas Fire crosses over the dry Ventura River in Ojai.
(Michael Owen Baker / For the Times)

Fire crews are preparing to defend Ojai – the bucolic mountain town known as a haven for spiritual seekers, health enthusiasts and celebrities — from the fast-moving blaze that destroyed portions of Ventura, an official said Wednesday afternoon.

“The fire is here and wrapped around the community,” said Shane Lauderdale, a Cal Fire branch director as he huddled with other officials in a downtown parking lot. 

With a map of the Ojai Valley spread over the hood of a crew vehicle and ashes falling around him, Lauderdale said that more equipment and firefighters are being rushed in the area south and east of the town. 

“We’re taking advantage of the current calm to concentrate resources along a defensive line,” he said.

Crews are moving heavy equipment to meet the fire on the edge of town while hand crews are cutting fire breaks. 

“We’re going to get a lot more work done today,” Lauderdale said.

The fire threat is considered dire until Friday when punishing Santa Ana winds are expected to abate, but Ojai city manager Steve McClary said, “Until we have fog drifting in from the west and light rain, we won’t feel like this thing is behind us.”

Source link
Read also:
Los Angeles Times 10 months ago
Below Sulphur Mountain in Ojai, Marie McTavish and her family were preparing for a firefight.For more than 30 years, McTavish, 65, and her husband...
Los Angeles Times Incident 10 months ago
The Skirball fire prompted a full closure of the 405 Freeway and mandatory evacuations.(KTLA-TV)Jackson Rogow, 24, woke up at 6 a.m. to the smell of...
The San Diego Union-Tribune Incident 10 months ago
The brush fire that burned several homes in Bel-Air on Wednesday echoed back to one of Los Angeles’ most destructive fires, which hit the same...
Los Angeles Times Incident 10 months ago
Residents hop a fence Tuesday to put out a spot fire along Highway 33 from the Thomas fire in Casita Springs in Ventura County.(Wally Skalij / Los...
The San Diego Union-Tribune Incident 10 months ago
San Diego's fire weather warning extended to Saturday afternoon
Los Angeles Times 10 months ago
In the early morning hours, David Demshki and his wife Christy Harris drove to Oak View from their Oxnard home to rescue three horses from their...
The San Diego Union-Tribune Lifestyle 10 months ago
The combination of power outages and a rapidly spreading fire have caused problems for firefighters battling the Thomas fire.Ventura County Fire...
Los Angeles Times Incident 10 months ago
At least two buildings on the campus of Vista Del Mar Hospital burned down as the Thomas fire ravaged the canyons above Ventura.The hospital treats...
One click to connect
Select a social network to associate your account