Introduction: Burning Ojai (03:58)
In December 2017, a wildfire erupts in Ventura County, CA burning close to Santa Paula. The Thomas Fire burns through 282,000 acres of home and habitat. Michael and Noemie Dumont Milano move to Ojai a month before the fire. (Credits)
Thomas Fire Erupts (03:09)
The Santa Ana winds blow strongly. At 6:23pm on December 4, 2017, an individual reports a fire; Olaf Canyon is engulfed in minutes. Emergency calls erupt, stating there are no firefighters in the vicinity.
Thomas Fire: One Hour Later (03:56)
A transformer blows, causing another fire in Upper Ojai. The Santa Ana winds reduce the efficacy of water dropped by airplanes and helicopters. The Milanos evacuate their home.
Mandatory Evacuation (03:37)
Victims discuss how quickly the Thomas Fire spread. Fronts include Ojai, Fillmore, and Santa Paula. The Milanos are evacuated from their hotel and head toward Santa Barbara.
Thomas Fire: Nine Days Later (03:53)
The Milanos drive back to their home and discover their house is still standing; neighbors' homes were destroyed. The public discusses concerns with firefighters at an Upper Ojai community meeting.
Fire Devastation (03:13)
Victims discuss losing their homes and pets. A relief station helps those affected by the wildfire; people sift through the rubble. The air quality is untenable.
Thomas Fire: 27 Days Later (04:30)
A bear survives the fire with burnt feet and is transported for rehabilitation assessment. The Thomas Fire is not the first to ravage Ojai; the fire corridor is difficult to defend. Firefighters worry about rainstorms and potential mudslides.
Mudslides and Flash Floods (03:21)
Vegetation takes several years to return. Michael Milano digs trenches to protect his home. Thirteen people are reported missing in Upper Ojai.
Southern California Edison (03:37)
Fire investigators conclude that transformers caused the Thomas Fire. Leona Mote rebuilds her home and adopts two kittens.
Thomas Fire: Over a Year Later (03:19)
Nature can help humans learn how to live in the area. The Milanos remain in their home in Upper Ojai. Residents refuse to give up. Almost two years after the Thomas Fire, another fire erupts in Santa Paula.
Credits: Burning Ojai (02:54)
Credits: Burning Ojai
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