On Dec 4th, 2017, the Thomas fire forced 27,000 people in Ventura County to evacuate their homes, some of whom were NPAA students. The Thomas fire consumed over 281,893 acres and wasn’t fully contained until Jan 12, 2018. It caused a fire fighter fatality, burned down over 1063 buildings, damaged over 60 buildings, and injured many people.
For most people heavily affected by the fire, the flames came very close but didn’t call for evacuations. “If my house is Starbucks, the fire is conejo,” said senior Genesis Aguilar about the distance of the fire to his house. Even though an evacuation wasn’t mandatory yet, precautions were put in place by the Aguilar family. “We had our bags packed and everything ready to leave.”
For some unlucky few, evacuations were necessary. Seth Davis, an evacuated student recalled, “We were evacuated because the fire was rolling right up the top of a hill that we were at the bottom of. When we left we could see flames poking over the top of the hill.”