The Thomas Fire roared through Ventura County on December 4, 2018, forever changing lives and landscape in its wake. Please know that our thoughts are with everyone who suffered loss as a result of the fire. The Ventura Land Trust will stand beside you as we all journey through the recovery process.
The road to recovery will be a long one but we know that over time, our community and our lands will heal. In the coming weeks and months, we will begin the recovery process on our preserves and will look to the community for help. Restoration will take time, money and manpower. We encourage you to donate in the way that makes sense for you. Also, keep an eye on our Events Page. In 2018, we will host a series of environmental restoration and information events. Working together, we will make Ventura's open spaces beautiful once more.
Every donation, no matter what size, makes a difference!
BIG ROCK PRESERVE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC WHILE WE ASSESS THE DAMAGE AND PLAN FUTURE RESTORATION ACTIVITIES!
BIG ROCK BLOG
A bird's eye view of the Thomas Fire damage at Big Rock Preserve
December 28, 2018
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of the dedicated hard working firefighters who are still out there protecting us! Nearly 3 weeks after the Thomas Fire roared through the Big Rock Preserve, old historic railroad tracks on the property were still smoldering. Yesterday, Engine 23 from the Ventura County Fire Department treated this hot spot using a special foam and finally put the fire out here for good.
December 20, 2018
More than two full weeks after the fire raced across Ventura County, VLT staff finally felt it was safe enough to tour the Big Rock Preserve and assess the damage. Sadly, they found the burned areas to be much more extensive than originally thought. Many of the 1000+ young trees that had been planted on the property over the past two years are burned and other mature trees incurred significant damage also. Some fallen trees are blocking trails and making a thorough assessment difficult. In other areas, the ground is still smoldering. Ventura Land Trust is currently securing the help of skilled arborists and restoration biologists to inspect the property and advise us on how best to mitigate the damage. Until further notice, BIG ROCK PRESERVE IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC!
December 12, 2018
It's been one week and today, we are finally able to get back to work in our ash-covered office. The good news is that our computers are again up and running, our air purifier is on order and we are receiving many messages of support from our supporters in the community. Around noon, under very smokey skies, staff donned air filtration masks and headed to Big Rock to survey the damage. Upon arrival, we were moved to tears. We found burned trees, damaged trails and smoldering shrubs. It was decided that it wasn't yet safe to investigate further, so we dried our eyes and put off further surveying until another day. We know that the land will heal over time but it was very hard to find so much devastation on our beloved Big Rock Preserve.
WILDFIRE RELATED ARTICLES & INFO:
- Ventura County Recovers - County of Ventura
- California's Largest Ever Fire was a Force That Could Not Be Stopped - Los Angeles Times
- Impacts of Thomas Fire on Rare Wildlife - Ventura Fish & Wildlife Office
- The Basics on Fire in the Chaparral - California Chaparral Institute
- Threats to Chaparral - California Chaparral Institute
- Fire on California Landscapes - by Jon E. Keeley
- Fire in Chaparral Ecosystems - U.S. Forest Service
- Can Private Land Conservation Reduce Wildfire Risk to Homes? A Case study in San Diego County, California, USA- U.S. Geological Survey
- How Do Wildfires Affect Birds - Ventura Audubon Society
- What Happens After a Wildfire - Las Pilitas Nursery
- Leaf Burn Times of California Native Plants - Las Pilitas Nursery
- Rare Bird Sightings Post-Fire - VC Star
- Mudslide Danger Replaces Fire Threat - CNN News
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the Ventura Land Trust.
We need you support now more than ever!