#ThomasFire (Ventura) and #CreekFire (Sylmar) burning in SoCal
December 5, 2017 8:10 AM   Subscribe

There are two fires raging in SoCal right now, the Thomas Fire in the Santa Paula area of Ventura County, and the Creek Fire in NE Los AngelesCounty, not far from the Ventura County line.

More than 150 structures destroyed, 27,000 people evacuated in raging Ventura wildfire
A fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning 31,000 acres, destroying homes and forcing 27,000 people to evacuate.

About 150 structures — including at least one large apartment complex — were consumed by flames, and many more were threatened as the fire crept about a quarter-mile away from City Hall
2,500-acre brush fire burning in Kagel Canyon near Sylmar; mandatory evacuations underway
Los Angeles County Fire Department officials confirmed the three-alarm fire, which was burning at least 2,500 acres as sustained winds were at 35 mph.

The blaze, dubbed the Creek Fire, was first reported as a 100-acre fire in the area of Gold Creek and Little Tujunga Canyon roads.

Residents were beginning to evacuate their homes as flames continued to spread quickly. Areas north of the 210 Freeway between Little Tujunga and Sayre Street were under mandatory evacuation. The area from Sayre Street to the 5 and 14 freeways split was under voluntary evacuation, according to L.A. Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell.

#ThomasFire and #creekfire on Twitter seems to have the most info now.

Thomas Fire and Creek Fire maps

Stay safe, Mefites, and please let us know if you need help.
posted by Room 641-A (66 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Dang, I grew up with the view of Two Trees looking over just about everything I did. Scary.
posted by The otter lady at 8:15 AM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

The smell of smoke woke me up in Santa Monica. SMPD sent out a text that the fire wasn’t in SM, and I took two steps outside before I started coughing. This is obviously affecting a large area so please be careful even if you’re outside the fire area, and check on neighbors who might be vulnerable to the air quality.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:17 AM on December 5, 2017

The Thomas fire blew up so fast last night.

contraption and ambrosia voyeur evacuated last night and last I heard are safe, though possibly still without power or cell service.
posted by rtha at 8:27 AM on December 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

*waves* We're safe and pingable, no news on the house.
posted by contraption at 8:32 AM on December 5, 2017 [13 favorites]

I love the winter Santa Anas, but man, it's been a blower here all night (I'm in Pasadena, if the Creek fire gets here, it's an international incident). The Thomas Fire's growth is frightening. My trees are half bare and the dogs and cats are out of sorts.
posted by drewbage1847 at 9:06 AM on December 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

It was windy as fuck last night. All the neighborhood windchimes sang in terror. More than one cried out "please tell windvane I loved him dear!" before the wind hoisted them from their hooks and dashed them upon the curb. This morning windvane still points true, even if he does get around.

My neighbor upwind put up a big heavy duty outdoor tent like those you see for weddings. He's hosting a party this weekend. He spent the better part of yesterday tying it down to sandbags and fenceposts. I didn't gain a giant wedding tent overnight, but neither did I gain much sleep through the tent flap whipcracks.

The wind's still blowing and there are no fires near; good luck to those up north a ways who are picking up more than pieces of their broken windchimes.
posted by notyou at 9:06 AM on December 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

we had a very windy day up here in Oakland yesterday.

best wishes for your safety and a quick end to these fires, socal Mefites!
posted by supermedusa at 10:16 AM on December 5, 2017

Me and mine are not in danger from the Creek Fire, but the amount of smoke in the NE SFV is surreal.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:42 AM on December 5, 2017

The weather forecast for inland Ventura County is truly ominous. Low humidity, fierce winds and warmer temps overall. Take care and be safe all of you in SoCal.
posted by X4ster at 10:46 AM on December 5, 2017

This is devastating. I spent so many summers in Ventura. It’s an integral part of my family history. Sending love and support to all affected.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:11 AM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm at work in Santa Monica, literally right by the beach, and the entire office smells like burning. There was no smoke at my apartment in West LA this morning, but the closer I got to the beach, the worse it got. I'd seen the news about a fire in Ventura, and for some reason, thought that was far enough away to spare us the worst of the smoke. Not so. The air quality is so bad right now.

I feel bad whining about it so much given how bad other parts of California had it earlier this year, but ugh, this is awful. Worried about Ventura County now, and us too, these conditions are dire.
posted by yasaman at 11:21 AM on December 5, 2017

yasaman, per SMPD the smoke we're getting here is from the Creek fire in Sylmar. I guess it's the wind. There's also a smoke advisory now.

LA Public Health‏
Smoke Advisory due to #CreekFire. Unhealthy air especially in San Fernando Valley & coastal areas incl Malibu & Santa Monica.

Plus there's a red flag warning. Ugh. Seeing the NBC anchor's setup reminds me so much of the Malibu fire.

The Thomas Fire's growth is frightening

SoCal Wildfire Is Swallowing Up a 'Football Field a Second'
posted by Room 641-A at 11:37 AM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Our house is intact, as is our immediate neighborhood. Still under evacuation but I snuck over to shut off the gas (forgot before, oops) and grab a couple things. Wind is not too bad right now, but of course it could pick up again, it's bad in other parts of town.
posted by contraption at 12:22 PM on December 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

Is there a frequently-updated evacuation map anyone would recommend? My wife and I are in Toluca Lake, and still a bit gun-shy after the fires in Burbank earlier this year. I don't think it's going to spread that far (if it did, that would be hundreds of houses destroyed), but one never knows...
posted by miltthetank at 12:34 PM on December 5, 2017

I just came across this for the Creek fire:

CREEK FIRE: Emergency Updates and Information

map of the evacuation

Of note: All previously voluntary evacuations are now MANDATORY.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:39 PM on December 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

There's also a fire in Santa Clarita, the Rye Fire. (video autoplays) LA Daily News map.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:48 PM on December 5, 2017

Oh, shit, I just texted a friend in Santa Clarita about the smoke. Crap. I hope she's okay.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:51 PM on December 5, 2017

My husband and I left our work office due to the Santa Clarita fire this morning, and running to our car through the smoke and wind was plenty scary. I have no idea how people manage to evacuate their homes, mentally and emotionally, except for the fact that they have to. It was the closest to a fire I've ever been, and looking at our coworkers' apocalyptic photos later before they also left for home was nerve-wracking.
posted by erratic meatsack at 3:20 PM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

So my friend in Santa Clarita said the wind was blowing towrards the mountains (away from her house) but she had a friend pick up the dogs just in case. I thought that meant she was at work, but she's at home recovering from the complete hip surgery she had last week. I'm sure she has plenty of help but that must be so frustrating.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:27 PM on December 5, 2017

I hope this isn't chatfilter-y, but I'm not sure where to donate where the money will go 100% to victims of the fire. Anyone know? I've heard mixed things about Red Cross.
posted by onecircleaday at 5:29 PM on December 5, 2017

I have to share this photo of Magic Mountain I found on twitter. The scale is just astounding. Makes it look like a model.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:35 PM on December 5, 2017

I saw a tweet suggesting donations to the United Way of Ventura County; they say 100% of all donations will go to those affected by the wildfires. You can donate online, or mail checks with "Thomas Fire Fund" in the memo field.
posted by mogget at 8:51 PM on December 5, 2017

The Thomas fire has jumped 101 and is now more than 50,000 acres.

When I first saw news about it last night, it was about 500 acres.

Please take care, everyone. We in the Bay Area send you damp, non-windy wishes.
posted by rtha at 10:58 PM on December 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

New fire burning off the 405 in Bel Air, right near the Getty Museum.

Thomas Fire now up over 60,000 acres.
posted by rtha at 6:44 AM on December 6, 2017

Just re-woke up to the #Skirball fire. Not just The Getty and Bel-Air. UCLA is literally across Sunset Blvd from Bel-Air.

There's also a wind advisory for PCH between Malibu and the Palisades. I'm not sure I've ever seen this before
posted by Room 641-A at 7:19 AM on December 6, 2017

They’re calling the Skirball Fire the Bel-Air Fire in the Times. Or is this now two separate fires in the area?

Dude from the Getty just explained to KPCC News that they feel confident, but are closing nonetheless to help manage the smoke in the buildings.
posted by notyou at 7:35 AM on December 6, 2017

I'm going by this:

Ted Lieu
Follow @LAFD, @LAPDHQ and @ReadyLA for information on the #SkirballFire. If you are ordered to evacuate, do so immediately.
#SkirballIC EVACAUATION INFO for fire in #BelAir area (link: http://www.lafd.org/alert/update-brush-fire-12062017-0) lafd.org/alert/update-b…
7:07 AM · Dec 6, 2017
I didn't live in Bel-Air but close enough that I'm starting to watch for my friends' parent's houses. Casiano and Mandeville are worrying me.

I'm also concerned that these fires are ringed by Angeles Crest and Los Padres Nat'l Forests, SM Mountains/Will Rogers/Rustic Canyon and Topanga.

Schools in Malibu and Santa Monica are closed today.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:50 AM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Just saw Lieu’s tweet.

I have a friend who used to live in Bel-Air, who decamped across the 405 a couple years ago (Westgate?), so he’s only a couple miles away. Smoky, he says.
posted by notyou at 7:55 AM on December 6, 2017

(I’m new to twitter— what the heck is the story with idiots clogging up info threads by attaching hashtags to irrelevant tweets and links?)
posted by notyou at 7:59 AM on December 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Westgate is in the area I livEd, and just a couple of miles east of me now.

I'm now watching cars stuck on the 405 in the pass. Rough, and scary..

Any bus riders out there, Blue Bus sent out an alert about major delays, I'm sure same goes for Metro.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:14 AM on December 6, 2017

MetaTalk check-in thread
posted by Melismata at 9:43 AM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is a goddamn nightmare. I've never seen fire season this bad - air quality in West Hollywood is already affecting me and it's nothing like closer-in areas. My partner is deciding whether to go rescue his external hard from UCLA and there are conflicting reports on whether it's safe to go to campus.

Please stay safe everyone.

(ETA: He's not going)
posted by Space Kitty at 10:11 AM on December 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Mother-effing pic
posted by Melismata at 10:12 AM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Mother-effing Twitter video.
posted by zabuni at 10:26 AM on December 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

Hard drive. External hard drive. Maybe one day this will seem funny.
posted by Space Kitty at 10:27 AM on December 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Mother-effing pic

With the semi-burnt pine trees in the background, that gave me flashbacks to driving near my old family home in the Santa Barbara foothills, seeing tree trunks, chimneys and cars as the lone "survivors" in areas that days before were full of homes and people going about their lives.

Stay safe everyone!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:40 AM on December 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is what it looked like driving through the Sepulveda Pass early this morning

UCLA operating on internal power only, but at least no evacuations expected at the moment. For reference, across the street from the SE corner of this mandatory evacuation map (Sunset & Veteran) is basically the NW border of UCLA.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:26 AM on December 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

(Oops, sorry about the dupe commute link, it's been sitting in the comment box for a while.)
posted by Room 641-A at 11:27 AM on December 6, 2017

I moved away a couple years ago, but friends and family are evacuated from several different fires now. Someone shared a video of the commute before they closed the 405 this morning and watched it and then ran to the bathroom in tears. LA will always be home. Each one of those goddamn Sepulveda pass exits has a lifetime of associations attached to it.

Stay strong and stay safe, socal. Wish I could send some of our water your way from here in the pnw.
posted by potrzebie at 11:28 AM on December 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

I work at UCLA, and was told to go home this morning, on my drive into campus, so I turned around at 6:30 and headed back.

FYI: UCLA's emergency-related status website, Bruins Safe Online. The latest updates:
"Update #5 UCLA is operating on internal power only. This necessitates cutting power to non-essential buildings until further notice to restore power to medical and critical facilities. According to LADWP, power will be restored to on-campus facilities within 30 to 60 minutes. Off campus facilities, including Med Plaza, is still to be determined. At this time, a campus evacuation is not anticipated.

Update #4 While there appears to be positive progress against the fire and the campus itself is safe, difficult traffic conditions continue to prevent many students, faculty and staff from reaching campus. Consequently, UCLA is canceling classes today that begin on or after noon. Students should check with their instructors or departments about making up class time or class work. Depending on how conditions change during the day we will have further instructions this afternoon. Please refer to ehs.ucla.edu for air quality concerns."
The LAFD's Skirball Fire update.
posted by culfinglin at 11:31 AM on December 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Um, FD in Ventura talking about how the wind maps will now include purple. This is new, they have never used purple. They're talking maybe 80mph, in which firefighting will not be possible.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:20 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by rtha at 1:19 PM on December 6, 2017

Holy shit. 80 MPH Santa Anas = instant hellscape. They're bad enough at 40+. I think the highest winds I've ever personally experienced in SoCal was maybe 50-60+ in the high deserts, and it's like having a jet engine pointed at your house for hours or days on end. And those weren't dry east-to-west Santa Anas, just katabatik winds coming down off of Big Bear into Lucerne Valley.
posted by loquacious at 2:24 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

wildfire web map from esri. notably includes official perimeters and MODIS thermal hotspots.

open ogc wms/wfs geospatial services.
posted by j_curiouser at 2:34 PM on December 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

Jesus. I never wanted to go outside again anyway.

NBC San Diego @nbcsandiego
Smoke over South Bay is a fire burning in Mexico. There are no active wildfires burning in San Diego County.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:36 PM on December 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

NWS Los Angeles‏Verified account
Extremely critical fire weather conditions tonight-Thursday as strong and damaging #SantaAnaWinds combine with single digit humidities. Very rapid fire spread, long range spotting, and extreme fire behavior likely. #LAwind #LAWeather #cawx

Some more info in the (grr) embedded image at tweet.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:16 PM on December 6, 2017

User submitted images: https://imgur.com/gallery/uBAlH

/r/LosAngeles live thread, sorted by new.

Something to probably worry about: There's an oil field and pumping area just north of Ventura towards Ojai. The ArcGIS maps show the fire perimeter all over that area. Silver lining is that it's close to the coast in offshore conditions. Not so silver lining is that it's close to the coast in offshore conditions.

As cynical and anti petroleum industry as I am would guess that pretty much any LA/SoCal oil field is fairly well prepared for brush fires. They normally clear the areas around pump, wellheads and pipes so much that each pump or wellhead is an annoying huge barren scar in the landscape.

On the other hand their fire prepardeness plans probably don't account for climate change, 80 MPH Santa Ana winds and every fire unit engaged pretty much everywhere else.
posted by loquacious at 7:27 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm going in guys, pray for me.

Ok, I'm going to avoid the 405 so it should be fine. But "extremely critical" isn't really very reassuring.
posted by Justinian at 7:41 PM on December 6, 2017

Gulp. Did anyone else just get an Emergency Alert on their phones? Strong winds overnight. Creating extreme fire danger. stay alert. Listen to authorities.

I'm pretty sure this is the only non-Amber Alert alert I've ever received.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:30 PM on December 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

I got one too - freaked us all out.
posted by mogget at 8:50 PM on December 6, 2017

Yep me too. Sad situation.
posted by soakimbo at 9:14 PM on December 6, 2017

stay alert. Listen to authorities.

As someone who followed the slow rolling horror occurring to my neighbors to the west this fall, please, for the love of Christmas, get the hell out early and early enough to check in on at at-risk neighbor if you are remotely in harm's way. If you are not but able to be an influencer, actively do that. There are no tales, even the heart-warming ones, that are not full of unspeakable sorrow.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:36 PM on December 6, 2017

Jeff Ranieri

#ICYMI wildfires are rated on a "Burn Index". The LA Fire Chief has never seen a number this high. It's based on wind, moisture levels, temp and rain forecast. Gusts in the hills could reach 60mph+ next 2 days. Not as gusty by Saturday.

For the Twitter averse:

Low = 0-37
Extreme = 162+

2nd highest this Mon & Tues= 266 (not a typo)
Fire burn index tonight and tomorrow = 296 (not a typo)

On preview, many canyons and hills have narrow roads with only one way in and out. Staying behind means the fire trucks can't pass when the people later try to get out.

Oh, and if you evacuate leave behind buckets of water for the animals that trying to get out. :(

Good night MeFi.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:48 PM on December 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

Dearest Room 641-A and others, hope you are able to sleep tonight and stay safe.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:03 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I heard on the scanner that they're making the call to evacuate La Conchita. A friend posted a 6 minute video on YouTube touring the remains of his obliterated house. Another friend's mom came home to find her house standing but her shed and landscaping gone, it was that close. I think I'm lucky and will have a house to go back to once the smoke clears, I'm like 97% certain that's the case, but for now I'm going to sleep.
posted by contraption at 1:58 AM on December 7, 2017 [6 favorites]

My parents are in the northern part of the Skirball evac area. We returned very briefly earlier today while the winds were relatively calm to gather some photos and etc. No smoke, no visible fire in the burned parts of the canyon we could see from our vantage. Lots of water drops trying to wet down the hillsides. The firefighters we spoke to at the firehouse in my neighborhood (south of the zone near UCLA) said that their last info was that winds are still too erratic to lift the order but if all goes well maybe late tonight or tomorrow morning.

They won’t start letting residents back in until they start removing the engine companies. It’s not just about immediate threat but traffic impeding heavy equipment access (and, I gather, the need for crews to access peoples back yards at will).
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:20 PM on December 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh, no snuffleupagus, I hope it remains calm up there and everyone remains safe. The winds were definitely blowing smoke northwards earlier in the day.

In HS in the 80s we use to go get stoned at the old missile silos up off Mulholland :)
posted by Room 641-A at 2:29 PM on December 7, 2017

Looks like the Skirball fire is being wound up. Crews are being released to work the other fires. Whew.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:33 AM on December 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Rep Steve Knight, who voted to ELIMINATE all of our TAX DEDUCTIONS for personal LOSSES from WILDFIRES.

As L.A. burns, Republicans vote for a tax hike on the victims. What a perfectly-timed way to pay for tax cuts for the rich: Raising taxes on victims of natural disasters
posted by homunculus at 10:06 AM on December 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

SANTA BARBARA — The deadly wildfire that has ravaged Southern California for nearly two weeks gained fury overnight and now threatens swaths of coastal Santa Barbara County, authorities said Saturday.
posted by rtha at 6:27 PM on December 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

If this fire gets into residential Montecito there is a high likelihood it will be destroying homes owned by major political donors to both parties, fwiw.
posted by contraption at 8:09 AM on December 17, 2017

Evacuation orders lifted in Santa Barbara County as crews tame massive Thomas fire (!!) -- the fire is 60% contained, as of Dec. 21, 2017!
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is asking returning homeowners to check their property for fire damage and hot embers as well as trees and utility poles that may have been weakened by the fire.

“Hot embers may be seen in rain gutters, on the roof and under overhangs, under decks and in crawl spaces,” the office said. “Check for embers in the attic which may have entered through vents.”
Winds in the Hollywood Hills were 15-20 mph Thursday morning, with gusts up to 40 mph, said National Weather Service meteorologist David Sweet.

Sweet said that there should not be another wind event for the next week and that the high in Los Angeles is set for 75 degrees on Christmas Day.

“I think Santa Claus will have to arrive by surfboard,” he said.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:55 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

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