Thomas fire suspends part of Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner service, shuts resorts in Ojai and Santa Barbara

Shoppers on Santa Barbara's main drag, State Street, check a fire incident map Tuesday.
Shoppers on Santa Barbara’s main drag, State Street, check a fire incident map Tuesday.
(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

Amtrak’s rail service between Oxnard and San Luis Obispo on its popular Pacific Surfliner route continued to be shut Tuesday because of the Thomas fire raging in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Trains have been suspended indefinitely from traveling to stops in Ventura, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Surf, Guadalupe and Grover Beach. However, the Surfliner is operating between San Diego and Oxnard. For more information, contact the Pacific Surfliner website or call (800) 872-7245.

The Thomas fire, which had spread to 234,200 acres as of Monday and is 20% contained, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It has become the fifth-largest wildfire in the state’s modern history.


Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County’s air quality agency issued a warning about levels of smoke and particulates in the area. It recommends that visitors and locals stay indoors, avoid driving in affected areas and drink plenty of fluids. You can check on air quality at the agency’s website.

If you have plans to visit Santa Barbara soon, check on closures of roads, lodgings and places to visit at Visit Santa Barbara’s Travel Advisory. Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect north of Highway 192 (to East Camino Cielo between Highway 150 and Mission Canyon Road) and other areas; voluntary evacuation notices also are in effect.

In Santa Barbara, top resorts San Ysidro Ranch (900 San Ysidro Lane) and the Four Seasons’ Biltmore Resort (1260 Channel Drive) have temporarily closed because of smoke and the bad air.

“We have not been impacted directly by [the fire], however significant levels of ash, smoke and other airborne particles necessitate our taking extra steps to ensure the health and safety of all our guests and our staff,” San Ysidro Ranch’s website says.

Belmond El Encanto (800 Alvarado Place) is housing existing guests but not accepting new reservations until Friday.

The city’s Museum of Art (1130 State St.) and Museum of Natural History (2559 Puesta Del Sol) were closed Tuesday, as were the zoo and the botanic garden. Los Padres National Forest has closed the Ojai, Santa Barbara and Mt. Pinos ranger districts to hikers and visitors too.


The Mission Santa Barbara (2201 Laguna St.), which had shut Sunday and Monday, reopened Tuesday.


The Thomas fire burned around the downtown area of the health resort town. Evacuation orders have been lifted, but some resorts remain closed for cleanup.

The Oaks at Ojai (122 E. Ojai Ave.), a health-conscious resort and spa, is closed at least through the end of January, according to a note on its website.

Though the resort was spared by the fire, there’s smoke and ash to clean up, according to the resort’s website.

The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is closed until Jan. 11. This resort will undergo “a rigorous cleaning by a professional company using eco-friendly products” before it reopens.

Small boutique hotels in Ojai — the Blue Iguana and Emerald Iguana inns as well as the Ojai Retreat — are open.


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