OXNARD, Calif. – Our intentions at 5 and 6 o'clock on Friday were to bring you live reports from Grant Park in Ventura. It's the best view we have close to Oxnard in California and since the Cowboys had the day off it's always one of a favorites to travel to, if nothing else, for the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the Ventura County fair grounds. Ventura is not far from Oxnard, about 20 minutes north on the 101 in traffic and close to the end of our trip I was live on KSAT 12's Facebook page and you got to see it as I did, live. Grant Park CLOSED.
That's right our favorite live shot location in Ventura fell victim to the Thomas fire that swept across 281 thousand 893 acres of land destroying 1 thousand 63 structures and damaging another 280. The fast moving brush fire that started in December of 2017 was not 100 percent contained until January 12, 2018. In the city of Ventura alone 500 structures destroyed and 100 damaged.
What we came to find out, as we searched for another location that would give us close to the same view, was a piece of flat land just below Grant Park. But as we set up we realized there used to be three homes on this spot just off Buena Vista street just east of the heart of Ventura. That's how close it got to destroying the entire city. With the assist of Google maps Mike Klein, our producer, determined there were as many as three houses at that location that were burned to the ground. In fact, if you look at the tree line you can see the fire damage on the trunks. Very sad when you think about the folks who lived there and lost everything. Just the steps leading to their homes is all that is left along with an outdoor water faucet. They have dropped conservation rolls all over the area to try and control the run off and prevent mudslides but the reality is those homes are gone forever.
It puts what we do in perspective. Its only TV. For the folks of Ventura and California who have suffered losses in these wildfires that now appear to be the norm these days, our hearts go out to you.