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How to Help Ventura Thomas Fire Victims

UPDATE 12/12/17 9am

The weekend felt like a blur as most of our employees were in mandatory or voluntary evacuation zones, leaving town to stay with family or friends all over the state. Yesterday and today, first responders seem to have started to get ahead of the flames and we are hopeful things will continue to improve. Below is a photo we were sent from a friend at the Ventura harbor on Sunday of the smoke plume in Carpinteria – this was extremely disturbing to receive as many of our coworkers and friends live in the area.

The smoke is still bad in Santa Barbara, conditions have improved immensely, however, in Ventura. Here is a link to the most up-to-date evacuation zones and fire perimeter: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1ASoCEnK1yHaI2Of55E92EXF69JdFdIp-&ll=34.3918682033433%2C-119.57075974121096&z=11 

Our office is open today, with three people in it. We are hoping to run an island trip on Thursday, as the air quality has improved immensely in Ventura and on the Channel Islands.

So many businesses and people are organizing incredible donations for the victims and first responders of the Thomas Fire. Here is a link to multiple GoFundMe pages to help specific people: https://www.gofundme.com/cause/southern-ca-fire-relief

We also saw signs cheering on the firefighters and the town of Carpinteria is planning on giving them a special send-off when this is all over. Although we are unsure of the future, we have hopes that this will end soon and our communities will continue to support each other! Thank you to everyone helping, continued thoughts and prayers for families affected.

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A few of our guides and staff were evacuated from their homes in Carpinteria and Summerland last night, luckily the latest news says that no homes burned overnight and we are so thankful. We are currently taking outdoor gear donations at our 32 E Haley Street Location in downtown Santa Barbara – this can be anything big or small. Some people have lost absolutely everything and we want to help.

Visit Ventura came out with some good information that can be found here and Nate put together a consolidated list of resources with updates, maps, air quality info and more (below). As far as our trips, we have canceled today and tomorrow’s tours (Friday and Saturday) due to air quality. Right now, we still plan to run our Sunday Channel Islands tours, but will reassess as needed tomorrow. Continued thoughts and prayers for everyone affected and a huge thank you to everyone working to put these fires out!

Official Updates:

Live Interactive Maps: (some updated hourly)

Air Quality:

Contribute to Relief Efforts:

  • United Way
  • Red Cross
  • Salvation Army
  • Yesterday Ed Hat stated that N95 Masks are being distributed at:
  • Costco in the Camino Real Marketplace (7095 Market Pl Drive, Goleta),10am
  • Franklin Community Center (1136 East Montecito Street, Santa Barbara), 10am
  • Albertson’s in Carpinteria (1018 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria),10 am
  • Montecito (Lower Village, 1400 block of E. Valley Road),1pm

Feel free to send any other info you find to letsgo@sbadventureco.com

Thank you!

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We woke up this morning to layers of ash on our cars and fires spreading further north. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for Nixle Alerts: you will receive emergency alerts from local agencies, it is a great way to be kept in the loop and eliminate any confusion. Text your zip code to 888-777 to sign up.

Here are two local families that could use some extra help as well. To see more ways to help, scroll further down to yesterday’s information.

https://www.gofundme.com/zell-family-thomas-fire

Friends of Santa Barbara Adventure Company, this couple just lost their new home in Ventura to the fire and could use your help this holiday season.

https://www.gofundme.com/causehannafund

The young father of this family created a research station on Santa Rosa Island. He recently lost his battle with cancer a few months ago and left behind a wife and two young girls. Their house they built together just burned to the ground in Ventura as well.

Update on our trips: Coastal and island trips are canceled today. We are still operating wine country tours. We are evaluating weekend trips tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Again, if you know of an organization or family in need of help, email us at letsgo@sbadventureco.com. Stay safe!

As the fire persists, everyone is coming together to find more ways to help the Ventura fire victims. I have been scrolling through news and social media sites to find out more ways to help – we just reached out to a lady named Dianna who is taking donations at her house and has over 100 housing locations available. If you know of someone that needs housing, there are locations available from Oak Park to Ventura – text 805.217.2333 and she will set them up with what they need. She is also taking donations to her address in Camarillo at 2843 McCulloch Street. These can be anything from non-perishable food items, blankets and clothing to toiletries and pet food.

Visit ReadyVenturaCounty.org for information on evacuation plans and more ways to help. Text “UWVC” to 41444 and 100% of the donations will go to those affected by the fires.

For animals affected by the fire, the following organizations are still accepting pets:

1. Humane Society of Ventura County in Ojai 805.64.6505

2. Santa Barbara Fairground 805.687.0766

3. Camp Canine in Santa Barbara 805.962.4790

Continued thoughts for all of the victims! Again, if you know of an organization or family in need of help, email us at letsgo@sbadventureco.com.

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This morning I woke up to smoky, red skies and frightening stories of friends evacuating with pets in the night. Our office is about 25 miles north of Ventura, so I knew our warehouse was safe – but we have a special connection to this area and coastline. Many of our staff members live in Ventura, several of our vendors are in Ventura and our guides shuttle in and out of their harbor daily. After seeing the photos and checking on a few friends and relatives, my next thoughts were — what can I do to help? During the Santa Rosa fires, I remember thinking “If I was closer, I could help more” … now I am closer.

When I searched the internet for ways to help; I found nothing. So I reached out to the Ventura Red Cross and Morris Franklin, in the Red Cross Ventura office, sent me some options on different ways to help today. I’m told more requests will come in over the next few days as well. Check back and I will update this list as I get more information. If you know of an organization or family in need of help, email us at letsgo@sbadventureco.com.

This morning, Thomas Fire has spread to approximately 45,500 acres, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee the area. 27,000 of our Ventura neighbors have been evacuated, many still unsure of the status of their homes. At least 150 structures have been destroyed, but that number is expected to grow as the fire persists.

Here are a few ways to help people involved in the Thomas Fire:

1. Make an online donation to your local Red Cross: www.redcross.org

From the menu at the top of the page, select Donate
For the “I Want To Support” choice, choose “Your Local Red Cross”

2. Mail a donation to any of the following addresses:

PACIFIC COAST CHAPTER
2707 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

PACIFIC COAST CHAPTER
225 Prado Road
San Luis Obispo, 93401

VENTURA COUNTY CHAPTER
836 Calle Plano
Camarillo, CA 93012

3. Become a Red Cross Volunteer

Visit redcross.org/volunteer to begin the application process
If you or someone you know is seeking shelter, the American Red Cross currently has these available locations:
Ventura Country Fairgrounds, 10 W Habror Boulevard, Ventura, CA 93001
Nordorff High School, 1401 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA 93023
Oxnard College, 4000 S Rose Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033

As for us, we are looking at the weather with Island Packers and evaluating our trips day-to-day. The power is on and off at the office and our staff is reaching out to guides to ensure their safety. An employee from Island Packers is even helping one of our guides, Matt, with evacuating by letting him borrow a trailer for his horses! Here is a photo Fiona took on her way to our Santa Barbara office this morning of the sky looking towards Ventura:

Photo by Fiona Reidy “This morning was a dramatic display, both beautiful and eery. Really thinking about friends and all of those affected just a little bit south of us today.”

Thank you to all the first responders. We will be posting any updates or helpful information we receive here throughout the week. *Updated 12/2/17 9am

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