Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now? title=
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?
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We're opening up this page for edhat readers and our staff to add photos, video, and reports on where the fire is moving. Official fire maps and reports on the fire's location sometimes isn't ready until the morning and evening hours, and in that time the fire can move quickly.

Share your official and unofficial reports on what you see and hear. Add your comment below or send us your footage to [email protected]

Wednesday, December 20, 2017:

5:00 p.m.: An edhat reader reports firefighters just put out a flare-up with retardant at 4:30 p.m., west of Gibraltar Peak. The smoke is now gone at 5:00 p.m.

7:00 a.m.: Crews look to be making a hard stance in Montecito as they prep for the winds tonight. Gibraltar Road and Camino Cielo seem to be areas of concentration. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017:

10:40 a.m.: While the crew of one Santa Barbara County Fire engine fill their tank from a 3,000 gal portable water source, others work extinguishing stubborn spots nearby off E. Camino Cielo above Montecito. (Mike Eliason video)

7:00 a.m.: Based on the maps from Cal Fire it looks like there wasn't a whole lot of growth into Santa Barbara. The maps show a decent hot spot in Parma Park and a little south of that. 

Monday, December 18, 2017:

11:30 a.m.: I've been hearing a ton of aircraft overhead but can't see exactly where they're dropping. Do other edhat readers know?

7:00 a.m.: The below Thomas Fire Progression Map was released from CAL Fire. The map shows spot fires in Parma Park and spots along Gibraltar Road in the area of the 2008 Tea Fire. 

The black line around the fire perimeter shows the containment area, while the red line shows the active fire perimeter and where it spread as of Saturday evening. The map also shows historical fire areas. (Click on the map for a bigger version)

Sunday, December 17, 2017:

3:00 pm: Mike Eliason reports a Skycrane copter is making water drops on a hot spot on E. Camino Cielo.

12:20 pm: An edhat reader captures a photo of Parma Park. (Click here for video of Parma Park)

11:15 am: An edhat reader reports fire and smoke seen right below the Tea House, nothing has burned around the area. It must have been smoldering all night and just started a fire. I don't see any fireman around the smoke. It's been called into the police dispatch.

11:10 am: Firefighters standing guard and providing structure protection at a home off Gibraltar Road watch as a bucket full of water is dropped from a copter onto a hot spot nearby. (Mike Eliason photos)

10:45 am: A Bombardier 415 Superscooper and a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane make water drops Sunday morning on hot spots along the hillside east of Gibraltar Road. (Mike Eliason photos)

7:00 am: The below Thomas Fire Progression Map was released from CAL Fire at 7am. It appears the fire reached Gibraltar Road and a small section crossed E. Mountain Drive. 

The black line around the fire perimeter shows the containment area, while the red line shows the active fire perimeter and where it spread as of Saturday evening. The map also shows historical fire areas. (Click on the map for a bigger version)

The below maps were provided by an edhat reader. They show the fire's progression as of 12/16/17 at 3:00 pm


Saturday, December 16, 2017:

10:30 pm: Edhat readers report fire in Parma Park with firefighters in every driveway of homes in the area to protect them.

9:00 pm: An edhat reader reports seeing flames in Mission Canyon. Does anyone else know specifically where?

6:40 pm: Flames burn near power lines in Sycamore Canyon, seen from W. Mountain drive in Montecito (Mike Eliason)

5:30 pm: Fire at Parma Park, live footage on KEYT

5:00 pm: Smoke drifts towards Santa Barbara Airport in the distance while a wind driven spot fire burns on the west side and below Gibraltar Road. (Video by Mike Eliason)

4:42 pm: Flames churn towards a large fire break near homes along Gibraltar Road north of Santa Barbara. (Video by Mike Eliason)


3:36 pm: Flames burn as spot fires begin due to winds further down canyon near power lines along the 2900 block of Gibraltar Road. (Video by Mike Eliason)

2:35 pm: In the top article photo it shows flames seen in this view from Gibraltar Road at the West Fork of Cold Springs Trail. Wind gusts of up to 52 mph have been recorded in the area using a hand held weather device. (By Mike Eliason)

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a-1513484916 Dec 16, 2017 08:28 PM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

Dec 17 isn't mentioned anywhere, where are you seeing that? The only thing I see is when the page is uploading the twitter video says dec 17th, but that's a twitter glitch of some sort. Is that what you're referencing?

a-1513490623 Dec 16, 2017 10:03 PM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

The WIFIRE map has had a large red circle on Las Canoas most of the day. I have also been wondering if there had been a spot fire there.

a-1513492120 Dec 16, 2017 10:28 PM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

I saw nothing I have two different satellite im using one shows the spot on las canoas closer to Parma park the other shows it near botanical gardens definitely no fire near botanical garden

mtndriver Dec 17, 2017 10:10 AM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

Okay, it's Sunday now...any updates? I'm evacuated, way over in New Mexico, and sure would like to hear anything people know about the western front of the fire, especially the area around Parma.n

tagdes Dec 17, 2017 02:04 PM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

Just go on the Co. of SB and their interactive map shows up to date as of today evacuation zones and fire progress limits. You can blow it up to show every street in detail.

a-1513536731 Dec 17, 2017 10:52 AM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

I would like to offer clarification on information being disseminated by the SB County Sherrif in reference to some voluntary evacuation boundaries, being both published in print and given out verbally on KEYT/KSBY and other TV/Radio stations.
This is part other the info still being disseminated:
"South of Highway 192, west of N. San Marcos Road, north of State Street, and east of Nomad Village/San Vicente Mobile Home Park,..."
This information is a bit confusing and misleading. The information seems to indicate that "Nomad Village/San Vicente Park" is one park, when actually, there four mobile home parks right beside one another. San Vicente MHP, front entrance is 340 Old Mill Road, is the farthest east, bordered on the north (back gate) by Cathedral Oaks (Hwy 192), with Hwy 154 close by. The next adjacent park (more populous with 334 homes - and larger than San Vicente - yet not even mentioned) is Rancho Santa Barbara, front entrance is 333 Old Mill Road, which is also bordered on the north (back gate) by Cathedral Oaks. Both parks share an egress route at their front gates, but have separate egress routes at their back gates. The third adjacent park (entrance on Calle Real) is Blue Skies park, with its famous landmark neon sign (also not even mentioned). Rancho Santa Barbara and Blue Skies have a combined occupancy of +/- 1,000 residents, well worth a reference at least. Finally, furthest west and adjacent to Blue Skies park is Nomad Village park (entrance also on Calle Real) . Unfortunately, the last two parks each have only one egress. Reconsider the quote above, it is very unclear who is and who is not under evacuation warning. This is particularly problematic when dealing with seniors (both San Vicente and Rancho Santa Barbara parks are 55+ senior parks) because certain seniors might need more advance notice to evacuate. I tried to contact KEYT, SB County Sheriffs and SB County FD in an attempt to correct and clarify this important information, without much help. The Sheriff's representative kept telling me I was wrong , that the info they are disseminating is accurate. She also said all four parks are all in the voluntary evacuation zone (not according to current map or the info Bill Brown was reading on TV). She told me I must be looking at an old map. I wasn't. Only the local FD Station 13 staff was responsive. They agreed with me and sympathized with my frustrations. The man I spoke to gave me an 800 number to call to update the info. I called and was electronically offered to enter my phone number, retain my place in line and I would be called back. That was about 7:00 pm last evening (12/16). Still waiting. I know all agencies are doing a wonderful superhuman job, for which I am grateful, and I know all personnel are overwhelmed. But some things need more attention and accuracy than others. For utmost protection of persons, then property, I feel that clear and current evacuation boundary information is one of those things.

a-1513543670 Dec 17, 2017 12:47 PM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

It's Dec 17 now and, as always with these larger fires----wind velocity and wind direction must be paid strict attention. At one point the Thomas Fire was moving an acre per second. You do the math. Wednesday is predicted to have high winds and things may go south again. Do not become complacent.

John Wiley Dec 19, 2017 06:57 PM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

Aerial Pix 12/19 Gibraltar & SB County - I flew over the TFR (safely above the fire area) for an hour this afternoon and got a LOT of pix, some wide and some zoom. I've sent one to Ed, started posting more on SBitZ.NET, and will start posting more there in a couple of hours. Some interesting details, and a good look at the Southern edge from Gibraltar to Carp. 661 pix in all, though many are duplicates in case of motion blur.

biguglystick Dec 20, 2017 10:31 AM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

A-15, I noticed this also and it was very frustrating! With family in the mobile home parks mentioned, I was angry at this confusion. I found that by going through social media I got a lot more correct info than what the sheriff's dept or any other local news outlet was distributing. We really need to tighten up our emergency information distribution and STAT!

tagdes Dec 20, 2017 03:38 PM
Follow the Thomas Fire, Where Is It Now?

Uh, A-15 are all the 7 posts that don't have a specific name. If you were you trying to be specific I'd have thought by now you realized you can't by using numbers on this not so new system.

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