Firefighters monitor a section of the Thomas Fire along the 101 freeway on December 7, 2017 north of Ventura, California.
The explosive Thomas Fire has grown to 96,000 acres as of Thursday afternoon, and is only 5 percent contained. With hundreds of homes and buildings destroyed, and thousands of people evacuated, heartbreaking before-and-after images are already emerging from the devastating fire. The Thomas Fire started out as a small blaze, but it quickly exploded in size, with California Gov. Jerry Brown declaring a state of emergency for Ventura County. Now, numerous fires are growing in California, including the Whittier Fire, the Rye Fire, the Creek fire, La Tuna fire, Skirball fire, Lilac fire, and more. The Thomas fire has been the most devastating in terms of destruction and damage. These are before-and-after pictures showing the devastation from this December fire.
The devastation is gut-wrenching. People are watching their beloved homes burn just before Christmas.
Grant Park may have been severely damaged by the fire, but residents found hope in the Serra Cross that survived:
Many homes were destroyed, and families are sharing heartbreaking before-and-after photos of their losses.
This is a before-and-after shot of a home destroyed by the Creek Fire in Shadow Hills. The home was just eight days away from closing escrow.
A terrifying before-and-after photo from the Skirball fire:
This map shows how the Thomas fire escalated in size overnight in the Ojai area:
And here is a before and after comparison from satellite images, showing the smoke in southern California as the wildfires burned, fueled by strong winds.
The Thomas fire has been the most devastating in terms of destruction and damage, but the fire is not alone in its destruction. But in total, all the fires have destroyed 300 homes, businesses, and other buildings as of Thursday afternoon. The Thomas fire is now at just 5 percent containment with at least 150 structures that have been damaged and 12,000 homes threatened. So far, at least 96,000 acres have burned. At least 50,000 people have been evacuated and many have no idea if their homes survived. Colina Vista Street in Ventura was especially hard hit, with some areas completely leveled.
The Creek Fire in Sylmar has also claimed a number of buildings, though the exact number is not yet known. The fire was north of downtown Los Angeles and had grown to 12,065 acres by Thursday morning. It started outside of the city limits. More than 150,000 people have been evacuated from this fire, including a convalescent hospital with 105 patients. The Creek fire started around 4 a.m. on Tuesday near Little Tujunga Canyon Road near Sylmar. The Creek fire is at 10 percent containment as of the time of publication. Many homes in the Creek Fire have been lost. The number currently stands officially at 15 homes and 30 structures destroyed as of Thursday morning. This includes at least eight in the Via Santa Barbara/Via San Anselmo area of Sylmar.
The Rye fire started in Santa Clarita shortly before 10 a.m. on Tuesday near the 2500 block of Rye Canyon Loops near Highway 126. The 5 Freeway was closed briefly but reopened Tuesday afternoon. Some evacuations were ordered in this area too, including 1,300 homes in the Westridge community. About 2,090 customers lost power in the Santa Clarita area. Evacuations have been lifted, and the fire ultimately affected 7,000 acres. It’s at 15 percent containment as of Thursday morning. Other fires in the area are also causing residents worry.
We will share more before-and-after photos as they become available.