Thomas Fire Information
In December 2017, the Thomas Fire ignited north of Santa Paula and traveled quickly through unincorporated County of Ventura lands to the City of Ventura. An unprecedented disaster, the Thomas Fire moved at record speed and caused immediate damage to the City, which swiftly launched a tremendous response effort.
City Resources for Homeowners
Below are City Resources for Homeowners including information needed for the rebuilding process such as design, permitting and review, as well as the residential building permit checklist.
- Admin Report Amendments to Thomas Fire Rebuild Overlay Zone Emergency Ordinance (PDF)September 10, 2018
- Thomas Fire Rebuild Overlay Zone Amendments to Emergency Ordinance pertaining to Height Determination and Implementation (PDF)
- Thomas Fire Rebuild Update (PDF)August 6, 2018
- Thomas Fire Rebuild Overlay Zone Emergency Ordinance (PDF)
Required Review Process Documents
Documents below include information on the pre-submittal review process, residential plan check submittal screening checklist, and the construction permit application.
Thomas Fire recovery guidelines for setting up temporary utilities at your property.
- BS-643 Temporary Utilities (PDF)
- Re-establishing Water Connection (PDF)
- Guidelines for temporary water service to your residence after Phase I (hazardous debris removal) is complete.
- Temporary Meter “On Hydrant” Guidelines (website)
- For contractors doing work for residents - Temporary water service on a hydrant for Construction/Grading or Non Construction/Grading
Building and Safety Standard Sheets
The documents below provide information on the standard requirements for your new home. These documents include information on the landscaping requirements, green building code requirements, and materials and methods to make your new home more wildfire resistant.
- 2019 Cal Green - Chapter 5 Non-Residential Mandatory Measures (PDF)
- 2019 Cal Green - Chapter 4 Residential Mandatory Measures (PDF)
- 2016 Residential CALGreen Sheet (PDF)
- Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) Sheet (PDF)
- 2019 BS 642 Chapter 7A Materials & Methods for Wildfire (PDF)
- 2016 BS 642 Chapter 7A Materials & Methods for Wildfire (PDF)
- Thomas Fire - Fine Grading Plan Sheet (PDF)
- Thomas Fire - Electrical Plan Check Guidelines (PDF)
- Permit Paths (PDF)
- Pre-Submittal Review (PDF)
- CC&R Acknowledgement (PDF)
- LIDAR Waiver (PDF)
- Temporary RV Housing (PDF)
- Temporary On-Site Storage (PDF)
- Applicants Guide - Modification (PDF)
- Director’s Substantial Consistency Determination (PDF)
- Director’s Determination One to Two-Story (PDF)
Thomas Fire Rebuilds Land Development Grading Permits
A Grading Permit IS Required When:
- Removal and recompaction of soil to a depth greater than five feet;
- New building footprint extends more than five feet from old footprint;
- Property in the Ondulando area identified with settlement issues;
Grading Permit MAY Be Required When:
- New areas of cut or fill proposed;
- New retaining walls three feet or greater in height with surcharge.
For additional information please download our Land Development Grand Permit Triggers form (PDF).
Impacted Swimming Pool Information
Guidelines to ensure your pool is safe to use after the Thomas Fire.
Other Information Items
The documents below provides building material recommendations for homes built in high fire zones.
- BS 639 Wildfire Conformance Checklist (PDF)
- BS 641 High Fire Requirements (PDF)
- BS 647 Design Standards (PDF)
- BS 646 Technical Bulletin (PDF)
- BS 645 New Residential Landscape Requirements MWELO (PDF)
- SBDC Disaster Resource Guide (PDF)
- SBDC Disaster Response and Recovery Report (PDF)
- Applicant’s Guide Major/Administrative Variance (PDF)
After Action Review
All of California is learning important lessons from the recent wildfires. To ensure we thoroughly evaluate response to the Thomas Fire and prepare for the future, the City has released its after action review of the disaster. This review highlights a number of the City’s strengths in fighting the fire, outlines lessons learned and provides recommendations for future investments to protect our community moving forward – many of which are already underway.
At a City Council meeting on November 16, 2020, Ventura City Fire and Ventura Water presented a summary of process improvements and emergency operations updates implemented subsequent to the Thomas Fire.
At the City Council meeting on December 5, 2022, in honor of the five-year anniversary of the Thomas Fire, the City Manager's Office and the Fire Department shared important updates as to what Citywide wildfire preparedness today.
- Ventura County - Thomas Fire Recovers (website)
- California Department of Insurance: “Don’t Get Burned After a Disaster” (PDF)
- Contractors State License Board: “After a Disaster Don’t Get Scammed!” (PDF)
- FAQs on price gouging from the Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office (website)
- Keeping Safe as You Rebuild from the Ventura County District Attorney (website)
Be aware of unscrupulous contractors. The District Attorney’s Office has a phone line is devoted to handling calls about gouging at 805-662-1728. Callers can share the business name, address and relevant details.