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Koenigstein Fire Cause Released

After a thorough investigation, the Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) has determined that the Koenigstein Fire, which began on the evening of December 4, 2017, was caused when a single energized conductor separated near an insulator on a power pole. The energized conductor fell to the ground along with molten metal particles and ignited the dry vegetation below. A local resident witnessed sparks falling from the power pole, starting a fire on the ground, and then called 911 to report it to authorities.

The Koenigstein Fire started 3.5 miles northwest in Upper Ojai, approximately one hour after the initial start of the Thomas Fire. Both fires started on the same electrical circuit. Hours later, the Koenigstein Fire merged with the Thomas Fire and collectively became known as the Thomas Fire.

In total, the Thomas Fire burned for nearly 40 days, threatening the cities of Santa Paula, Ventura, Ojai and Fillmore, as well as many unincorporated communities, before moving into Santa Barbara County. It was declared 100 percent controlled on January 12, 2018. At one point, nearly 9,000 emergency personnel were working the fire. Firefighters and emergency responders came from across the western United States to help.

VCFD investigators were dispatched with initial attack resources to the wildfire and immediately began working to determine its origin and cause in conjunction with CAL FIRE and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

To view the Koenigstein Fire investigative report, click here. To learn more about the Thomas Fire, click here.

For more information on how to be prepared for wildfires, visit www.VCReadySetGo.org.

 

VCFD Determines Cause of the Thomas Fire

After a thorough investigation, the Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) has determined the Thomas Fire, which occurred in December 2017, was started by power lines coming into contact during high winds. The Thomas Fire started on the evening of December 4, 2017 and burned a total of 281,893 acres; destroying 1,063 structures and resulting in one civilian and one firefighter fatality.

A high wind event caused the power lines to come into contact with each other, creating an electrical arc. The electrical arc deposited hot, burning or molten material onto the ground, in a receptive fuel bed, causing the fire. The common term for this situation is called “line slap,” and the power line in question is owned by Southern California Edison.

In total, the Thomas Fire burned for nearly 40 days, threatening the cities of Santa Paula, Ventura, Ojai and Fillmore, as well as many unincorporated communities, before moving into Santa Barbara County. It was declared 100 percent controlled on January 12, 2018. At one point, nearly 9,000 emergency personnel were working the fire. Firefighters and emergency responders came from across the western United States to help.

VCFD investigators were dispatched with initial attack resources to the wildfire and immediately began working to determine its origin and cause. An investigative team was comprised of the following agencies: CAL FIRE, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO), Santa Barbara County Fire Department, and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Click to view the Thomas Fire Investigation Report. 

For more information on how to be prepared for wildfires, visit www.VCReadySetGo.org.

Upcoming VCFD Blood Drive - Thursday, April 11

United Blood Services is now Vitalant! Experience the awe of transforming lives by donating blood.

Please join us for the blood drive at Ventura County Fire on Thursday, April 11 from 8 a.m. - noon at the bloodmobile.

555 Airport Way

Camarillo, CA 93010

To make an appointment, please click the link below or call 805.543.4290

Bring a friend along - we hope to see you there!

Make an appointment - www.bloodhero.com/index.cfm?group=op&hlc=8425&hostlookupcode=8425

Time to spring forward and check smoke alarms

Time to change your clock
Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) reminds residents to replace the batteries in their smoke alarms when they change their clocks on Sunday, March 10, as Daylight Savings Time starts. Read more...