Thomas Fire

Thomas Fire 

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.

Rebuild Process

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 – September 10, 2018

Thomas Fire Rebuild Overlay Zone Amendments to Emergency Ordinance pertaining to Height Determination and Implementation

Thomas Fire Rebuild Update - August 6, 2018

Residential Building Permit Checklist

Thomas Fire Rebuild Overlay Zone Emergency Ordinance

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.

Pre-Submittal Review

BS 640 Thomas Fire Residential Plan Check Checklist

Construction Permit Application Thomas Fire

Temporary Utilities 

Thomas Fire recovery guidelines for setting up temporary utilities at your property. 

BS 643 Temporary Utilities

Re-establishing Water Connection - Guidelines for temporary water service to your residence after Phase I (hazardous debris removal) is complete.

Temporary Meter “On Hydrant” Guidelines (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
2019 Cal Green - Chapter 4 Residential Mandatory Measures

2016 Residential CALGreen Sheet

Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance Sheet

2019 BS 642 Chapter 7A Materials & Methods for Wildfire

2016 BS 642 Chapter 7A Materials & Methods for Wildfire

Thomas Fire -Fine Grading Plan Sheet

Thomas Fire -Electrical Plan Check Guidelines


Permit Paths

Pre-Submittal Review

CC&R Acknowledgement - Fillable

Lidar Waiver - Fillable w/instruction

Temporary RV Housing - Fillable

Temporary On-Site Storage - Fillable

Applicants Guide - Modification

-Submittal Requirements

-Discretionary Planning Permits Application Requirements Detail

-Planning Application - Fillable

-Adjacent Property Owner Acknowledgment Process

-Story Pole Waiver - Fillable

Director’s Substantial Consistency Determination

Director’s Determination One to Two-Story

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.

Impacted Swimming Pool Information

Guidelines to ensure your pool is safe to use after the Thomas Fire.

Swimming Pool Impacted by Fire, Smoke and Ash

Avoid Scams

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. 

Helpful websites

Other Information Items 

The documents below provides building material recommendations for homes built in high fire zones.

BS 639 Wildfire Conformance Checklist

BS 641 High Fire Requirements

BS 647 Design Standards

BS 646 Technical Bulletin

BS 645 New Residential Landscape Requirements MWELO

SBDC Disaster Resource Guide

SBDC Disaster Response and Recovery Report

Applicant’s Guide Major/Administrative Variance

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.

Learn More:

  • 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. To view the video presentation, click here for the City’s YouTube channel. To download the presentation, click here.