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'It's a Monster': California's Thomas Fire Now Largest in State History


'It's a Monster': California's Thomas Fire Now Largest in State History

Jake Johnson, staff writer

The blaze has now torn through more than 273,400 acres of land and destroyed over a thousand structures


I live in Santa Barbara. The reality of the fire is it’s been possible handle it’s onslaught on settled areas magnificently. We have had no more than five fatalities in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. If you are not familiar with California geography, the truth is most areas of native vegetation are intended to burn by mother nature naturally periodically. It’s part of our coastal chaparral ecosystem which was mostly what was impacted by the fire. The bigger part of this one will come when the rains hit on the massive areas burned. I am 59 and it’s a very old story here. Property owners who are irresponsible Republican type demanding assholes will become histrionic when the flooding starts. Same story, new year.


Mother Nature has the final word in the long run, and she measures time over millennia.

Understandably, she’s pretty pissed off. Brace for impact.


Burn baby burn. Expect more of the same soon.


The #2 fire in California’s history was only in 2003. Trends are that it’s only going to get a lot worse, and the climate forecasters agree.

Here are a few constructive suggestions for the next fire, er, the even bigger one:

In the city and state budgets, prepare to leave more fire lines.

Often, the most affordable time to burn a fresh 200 foot wide fire line is in winter about half an hour before a really big rainstorm arrives. No, not now when everything is tinder-dry.

Hire more goatherds. The little munchers will clear all the vegetation from your fire line around April, when all that fresh vegetation is finished growing and on the verge of drying out.

We need a state fire guard with rudimentary pre-training and with simple equipment for perhaps 50,000 workers. These people can cut backup fire lines a few miles away from every fire.

We need more water trucks in reserve.

We also need new water-carrying or repumping and hose-laying vehicles that can go up steeper slopes and/or vehicles that can navigate narrower forest paths. So, where’s the research lab? Where’s the funding bill? Where’s the widespread search for brighter ideas? Who is on this committee?

A Democrat is a Republican whose house just burned down because of small-minded government.


In the big fires of northeast San Diego suburbia years ago (2003?) the residents were asked the following year about a small tax increase for better fire protection. They resoundingly said no. After being a San Diego resident for a few years back in the 1980’s I’d like to push much of the county the fuck out of California. Never have I lived in such a greedy, selfish community. Even worse than LA, where I grew up. People like that don’t deserve to be a part of anything progressive, the whole town was based to some degree on “we are different…” Indeed you are, now leave…


CLIMATE CHANGE… CLIMATE CHANGE… CLIMATE CHANGE.!!!And next year will be worse. Reality is a bitch. Climate Change will crush the Trump/ Republican Party’s parade.


I am a native Californian, a Californian by birth. I have been here for decades and I have watched the state population grow in leaps and bounds for decades. We now have a volatile situation where our dry climate through the late spring to late summer makes us a dry state with dry grasses, native bushes and small trees make us especially at risk. We now have a huge population, many of whom are non native Californians with little respect for common sense safety measures to take against these fires.




Very little environmental education is included in policy and over the years has led to generations of poor decision making. With respect to migrates that is two-fold. California is better than many places but it far from perfect. The solution I see most for climate change is to simply move or just rebuild in a way that produces the same results. We have to change how we live while we still have a choice. Nature is reclaiming the land because we are killing it.


Yes - I agree - fire, Santa Ana winds - extreme aridity - all part of the ‘chaparral coastal ecosystem’ (nice way of putting it).

But now, with climate change and the intrusion of the masses into areas best left to themselves - damage and insurance claims are front and center.

It took even even the park rangers in Yellowstone decades to realize that fire is an essential part of some ecosystems.

Mostly we waste money subsidizing industry with legal claims on public lands (forestry companies, mining…), and wealthy but ecologically illiterate individuals seeking to reclaim their lost lives on the land with pretend - the national pastime it seems to me (James Kunstler calls it ‘magical thinking’).

If I seem less than a bleeding heart, well, there are more than enough here to compensate - I prefer reality.

I will never forget touring a flooded millionaire strip here in Calgary a few years ago when I had the opportunity to see politicians up close and personal, working door to door on the campaign of a city alderman in my area.

Literally - these mansions, hundreds and hundreds of them - were built a meter or few above the non-flood height of the Elbow River, which originates on a glacier (fast disappearing) and a lake in the Rockies, literally visible fifty miles to the west. There is no dam or impediment between the headwaters and the city of Calgary, these mansions are in fact situated directly and permanently on the floodplain of a flash flood prone mountain river, inhabited by the ‘smart & wealthy’ members of civilization, insulated by their wealth and externalizing insurance from the vagaries of nature, and guess who picks up the tab?

Yes - the disconsolate, apathetic, uninformed citizenry at large.

It’s enough to make one laugh or cry - which is why I read Phil Rockstroh’s stuff when it comes out - he calms me down some, for a time at least.

Then I boil over again.

If you deign to answer WalterPewen, where do you live - how much do you know of your ecosystem?

Many in Calgary


For Trump to change his view It will take Fox News, Breitbart News, etc to declare that climate change is real and mainly caused by humans. Don’t hold your breath. In the alternative right wing extremist universe facts do not have to be based on evidence. Facts are simply created. No proof needed.


Boy, Is that ever true! The Orwellian term is : ALTERNATE FACTS!


“As of Friday night, the fire was just 65 percent contained, and firefighters are expected to be working around the clock until mid-January. President Donald Trump has yet to issue a major disaster declaration for Southern California.
*I can picture the dotard sitting in his offal orifice watching Faux and laughing.
“They didn’t kiss my ass, they didn’t vote for me, they continue illegal protests against my regime and they want a disaster declaration? Fuck 'em! Hahahahahahaha!”
*Our “leader” at work.


The Donald loves fire and fury, maybe he will send marshmallows.

Fire relief has to wait until next year.


No one is talking about arson as a possible cause of any of these fires.

I suppose because that would detract from the argument that the main cause for many of these fires is climate change (which I believe to be true).

Considering the number of enemies that the US has produced with its bellicose foreign policy, I don’t think a consideration of arson as a cause of some of these fires should be out of the question.


Maybe if you offer him 5 million dollars, he will say that he might possibly be wrong about climate change.
And if he did say it, he would have his fingers crossed behind his back.


Climate change is not the “cause” of these fires, which could in some cases be arson. Climate change is increasing the size and intensity of the fires as well as the length of the fire season.


Last week, a little noticed report says that the new budget bill removes the provision that had allowed home owners to list earth quake and fire loss as tax deductions. This is a particularly heartless thing to do this year. Every California GOP congressional representative should be called to account in the 2018 mid terms.


…especially McCarthy needs to go. Bakersfield can do better than that guy.