Where We Build Matters
The Thomas Fire was the largest fire in our State’s history, however it was not the most devastating. When compared
to Sonoma County where two months earlier the city of Santa Rosa experienced ten times the loss of homes as Ventura, the Thomas Fire while crushing and geographically larger, was less destructive in part because there were less homes in its path.
Ventura County’s General Plan, which is strengthened by SOAR, discourages the building of housing tracts in the unincorporated county. The result of this policy is that there are fewer homes in what is called the wildland-urban interface, an area more prone to destruction from fires.
We know years of drought have increased the risk of wildfires, but we also must realize that sprawl development into forested and rural lands furthers the potential for loss of homes and lives from wildfires. Where we develop matters. SOAR holds the line on sprawl development and in so doing, not only preserves open space and farmland, but enforces a
development pattern that reduces the risk from fire.