On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Thomas Fire, one Ventura County Fire Captain is recounting his experience the night it broke out.
Captain Tony Salas was one of the first firefighters to respond to the fire just after 6 p.m. on December 4, 2017.
“We received a phone call to our station from a teacher or professor at Thomas Aquinas College asking if we were aware of the fire on the hillside so we told the professor, ‘no we’re not aware but we’re on our way,’” said Salas.
Salas mainly works out of Station 26 in Santa Paula, which is just a few miles away from the college.
The 35-year veteran of the department says he called for a handful of extra strike teams and within hours, agencies from all over the state were responding.