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Photo: A fire engine parked in downtown Ventura (Matt Sinsky)

School closures mean no breakfast and lunch for thousands of kids 3 MIN, 2 SEC

The fires have forced 94,000 people to evacuate. But, even those who aren’t in the evacuation zone are finding their lives disrupted because of school closures. Low-income families who depend on school meals are struggling to feed their kids.

10-year-old Luis typically eats free breakfast and lunch at McKinley Elementary School

Blake and Addie volunteer for the Food Bank since school is closed
Photos by Kathryn Barnes

Kathryn Barnes, Coordinating Producer, KCRW Santa Barbara

After losing a home, starting to rebuild 5 MIN, 1 SEC

Nick Bonge is one of hundreds of people who lost their home in the Thomas Fire. He lives on Briarwood Terrace in the foothills of downtown Ventura. We first met him two days after the fire broke out. A week later, we check in with him about finding temporary housing, dealing with insurance and starting to rebuild.

Nick Bonge

Nick Bonge's house burned down the night the Thomas Fire erupted
Photos by Jonathan Bastian

Nick Bonge, resident of Ventura

Donkeys, pigs and pythons among the Thomas Fire evacuees 7 MIN, 9 SEC

It looks like Noah's Ark at the Humane Society of Ventura County in downtown Ojai. When the fire broke out last Monday night, employees and volunteers scrambled to shelter over 400 evacuated pets (90 of which were horses). Over a week later, with tens of thousands still displaced, the shelter is still housing over triple their capacity.

Pigs, goats, and Icelandic horses are just some of the evacuated
animals still at the Humane Society of Ventura County

Photo by Jonathan Bastian

Franki Williams, Humane Society of Ventura County

How does ash affect our health and our water? 7 MIN

If you live in the 805, you’re likely wearing an N-95 mask around town. The point is to avoid breathing in ash or particulates. And while we know inhaling it is bad for humans, what’s all this ash doing to our water?

A layer of ash covers everything in town, including patios, sidewalks and streets.
Photo by Kathryn Barnes

Hunter Lenihan, UC Santa Barbara

Free fish tacos for firemen in Ventura 3 MIN, 26 SEC

Just a couple blocks from the beach in downtown Ventura, the restaurant Spencer MaKenzie’s has been doling out fish tacos to firefighters from all over the western US At first they were free to those fighting the blaze. Now, local residents are stepping up to pay the bill.

Nolan Hale, Cal Fire


Jonathan Bastian

Kathryn Barnes

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