Photo: A fire engine parked in downtown Ventura (Matt Sinsky)
FROM THIS EPISODE
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
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's house burned down the night the Thomas Fire erupted
Photos by Jonathan Bastian
Nick Bonge, resident of Ventura
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
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
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
More From The 805
Treating mental illness in our prisons and jails The City of Ventura is struggling to come to terms with story of a man who was murdered by a homeless person in a popular local restaurant. We’ll get reaction. Then, to San Luis Obispo where a mentally ill inmate died behind bars. One journalist says this story is representative of a national crisis.
Building a memorial for Montecito Will more granny flats fix Santa Barbara’s affordable housing problem, or just overcrowd neighborhoods and make parking impossible? We speak with a reporter tracking the story. New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof comes to town to speak about building resilient communities after disasters - both at home and abroad. And a stone cutter and artist wants to build a memorial for Montecito.
In Santa Barbara, a clinical trial addresses early childhood adversity A clinical trial in Santa Barbara is testing intervention techniques for children experiencing toxic stress. Vandenberg Air Force Base is going green with one of the largest solar farms in the county. And videos of people swimming through trash will be projected on the Santa Barbara County Courthouse this weekend.
Who’s jumping aboard the new commuter train? There’s finally a morning commuter train between Ventura and Santa Barbara, but how many people are taking it and will it reduce traffic along Highway 101? San Luis Obispo braces for the closure of Diablo Canyon, and the loss of 1,500 jobs, while a Congressman tries to help mitigate the economic blow it’ll have on the county. Winemakers along the Central Coast worry about Chinese tariffs. And public art is popping up along State Street.