Firefighters battled a fast-moving brush fire threatening homes in Santa Paula and Ventura, prompting evacuations in both cities Monday night.
Initial reports indicated the Thomas Fire started at about 50 acres and was moving at a fast rate of speed as winds as strong as 20 mph whipped through the area.
A state official says the $3 billion decrease in California’s request for federal wildfire aid represents a more accurate picture of what damage federal programs will actually cover.
Office of Emergency Services Deputy Director Kelly Huston says it is routine to modify requests for federal money following disasters.
The fire also caused power outages in Oxnard, Ventura, Camarillo and other parts of Ventura County as well as areas in Santa Barbara County. Nearly 107,000 residents were without power in Ventura County and more than 51,000 in Santa Barbara.
— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) December 5, 2017
Two months after multiple wildfires raced through several California counties, state lawmakers are looking an Emergency Alert System.
That system in some counties was criticized for not warning residents about flames threatening their neighborhoods.
The scene of intense heat coupled with record setting wind speed made it challenging for firefighters and emergency officials.
— VenturaCoAirUnit (@VCAirUnit) December 5, 2017
But why weren’t communities notified by text through a mass alert system. That question is one of many being raised by lawmakers today.