Thomas Fire dilemma: Stay or go? Residents, fire officials rethink evacuations

web 2 Firefighters
Photo provided by CAPS Media
Firefighters try to save a house during the Thomas Fire.


Kit Stolz, special to the Ojai Valley News
On the night of Dec. 4, 2017, fueled by high winds, the Thomas Fire spread with devastating speed from a canyon in the hills behind Santa Paula, and from a second start atop a ridge in Upper Ojai, destroying hundreds of homes and properties, forever altering the lives of thousands of people, torching 281,893 acres, and killing 70-year-old Virginia Pesola, evacuating from the fire in Wheeler Canyon in Santa Paula. 

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