Santa Paula, California, a town of about 30,000 people, was threatened by a fast-moving brush fire on December 4. The blaze was dubbed the “Thomas Fire.”
Photos and videos captured the scope of the blaze. Alan Rose, meteorologist for KEYT NewsChannel 3, wrote on Twitter, “The #ThomasFire is raging out of control…Fierce winds are pushing the fire south towards #SantaPaula and the fire is threatening homes!”
Reporters at the scene described the blaze as “massive.” ABC7 reported on Twitter that the fire had grown to 500 acres and was threatening the community of Santa Paula. According to ABC7, “Firefighters battled a fast-moving brush fire threatening structures along the Santa Paula-Ojai border Monday night” December 4, 2017.
KTLA-TV’s helicopter captured images of the fire. “Initial reports indicated the fire, which has been dubbed the Thomas Fire, was about 50 acres and moving at a fast rate of speed as winds as strong as 20 mph whipped through the area. Within an hour, it charred about 500 acres,” ABC 7 reported.
Here’s a map of the fire. The Los Angeles Times reported that the blaze had led to the evacuations of 500 homes, saying it “has burned about 500 acres in the foothills near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula and triggered evacuations.” The fire exploded from 50 to 500 acres in just a short time, the newspaper reported.
The fire caused an eerie orange glow to emanate from the horizon. KTLA-TV labeled the fire a fast-moving, wind-driven brush fire. According to KTLA, “The Thomas Fire fire ignited above Steckel Park, which is located at 8080 Mistletoe Rd. off of Highway 150.”
According to KTLA< “Highway 150 has been shut down in both directions along the Santa Paula and Ojai border, at Stongate Road, according to the California Highway Patrol. Flames appeared to be burning on both sides of the 150, Sky5 aerial video over the scene showed.”
The blaze comes as California is still reeling from the massive wildfires that destroyed parts of Santa Rosa and the state’s wine country region.