The week of December 4, 2017 the Thomas fire swept through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, burning over 270,00 acres and displacing thousands of families. As of today, the fire is 50% contained and has destroyed 1,024 structures while damaging an additional 250 in its path of carnage.
To fight the fire, California enlisted the help of 8,452 firefighters and 972 fire engines. Besides firefighters from across California, additional firefighters from states such as Arizona, Washington, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah have joined the effort to contain the fire. Thanks to these brave women and men, thousands of homes have been saved and the livelihood of numerous people preserved.
Included amongst the saved is Elixir Technologies. Elixir has been headquartered in Ojai since 1991, with many of our employees being long term residents of Ventura County. The Thomas fire forced some of our employees to temporarily evacuate and threatened our corporate headquarters, but everyone at Elixir is now safe and our office and homes are undamaged. We were able to continue servicing our customers nearly uninterrupted thanks to the courageous actions of the firefighters and the business continuity and disaster recovery plans we have in place.
Witnessing the Thomas fire’s path of destruction has opened the eyes of everyone who resides in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Those of us who experienced the fire firsthand in Ojai will never forget seeing the mountains that surround our town engulfed in flames and those flames advancing towards the homes of our families and friends. It really puts into perspective the things that matter the most; our families, friends and communities and how grateful we are to have survived this crisis and still call this place our home.
The holiday season is a time of giving to those in need, and at Elixir we have provided incentives for our employees to volunteer or donate to selected charities. If you feel moved by the events of the Thomas fire and want to donate to a charity, Elixir has identified and supports the following three charities that are assisting to the thousands of displaced people and pets in the wake of the Thomas fire.
- American Red Cross – Local chapters of the American Red Cross have been sending volunteers from across the country to Southern California. They are accepting online donations in support of the “California wildfires.” https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/californiavolunteers-pub
- UnitedWay Thomas Fire Fund – The United Way of Ventura County has partnered with the American Red Cross of Ventura County and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services to create a fund to help fire victims. http://vcunitedway.org/
- Humane Society of Ventura County – This is a non-profit organization in Ventura County that is not affiliated with a national organization and does not receive state, county or city funding. This organization is caring for all the animals owned by people who evacuated and/or lost their homes. https://humanesocietyvc.nationbuilder.com/thomasfire