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Devastating “Thomas Fire” Threatens Southern California & Surrounding Areas

Anna Villalobos, Editor-In-Chief

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A wildfire reported to have begun Monday morning is critically endangering residents in Southern California.  Ventura County, San Diego County, Ojai County, and more areas are seeing firsthand the devastation, many counties declaring mandatory evacuation.  The burning fire is described as erratic and extremely dangerous.

The National Weather Service has a Red Flag in effect throughout the area, with the risk measured at a critical level.

Thomas Aquinas College cancelled all classes for December 5th, evacuating all students.  Although the “Thomas Fire” (as it has been widely dubbed) reached the campus perimeter at one point, no serious damage has been done to school property (as of 5 PM CST).  Moreover, the number of school districts closing is increasing as fire danger grows.

Reportedly, 27,000+ residents have been evacuated, more than 1oo structures are destroyed, and the fire has consumed 47,000 acres – but numbers haven’t stopped growing.  Thousands are without power, which is expected to be out at least through the week.  The situation is described as “continuously changing,”  with heavy 50-70 MPH winds in hills and valleys only fueling the wildfire.

Because of this fire, Governor Jerry Brown has declared a State of Emergency in California, as firefighters fight to contain the disaster.  Citizens are told to evacuate immediately if told to do so, as the dry conditions in California are ideal for wildfires.  Thus, nearby homes are in real danger: in less than 30 seconds, a spark can become a major flame, and within five minutes, an entire residence can become engulfed in flames.

As you all know, the Mother of Divine Grace school headquarters is in Ojai, leaving much of the staff in danger as well as their homes.  Please join VOX in praying for MODG, our staff, our families, the firefighters, and all other souls who in danger because of the wildfire.

All families can contact VOX through our “Letter to the Editor”  page with questions, comments, or concerns.   MODG families in potential danger are also encouraged to inform us of your safety, so we can be aware of your situation.

If you are potentially in the line of the wildfire, stay alert!  Visit the links below, keep the local news stations on, and be ready to evacuate.

Be aware that Ventura, CA has also issued a Water Advisory, stating that all water must be boiled prior to drinking to ensure safety and to avoid contamination.

Below are links to evacuation areas, road closures, resources, updates, and more.  Don’t forget to watch your local news sources or listen to your radios for updates in your area.

http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents/incidentdetails/Index/1922

https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/1254/Thomas-Fire

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/fire_wx/fwdy2.html

Returning home after a fire?  Calfire.gov has an excellent PDF to help. 

Plan ahead for future disasters! Visit ready.gov  for Government-provided information on how to keep you and your family safe during an emergency.

 

 

 

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The student news site of Mother of Divine Grace in Ojai, California
Devastating “Thomas Fire” Threatens Southern California & Surrounding Areas