The Ventura fire in California is causing massive devastation for residents and travelers. Hundreds of thousands of people are having to evacuate the area and flee their homes, and unfortunately, for now, there is no relief in sight.
On Thursday morning, December 7, 2017, the weather included strong winds combined with dry conditions and low humidity, making the problem completely exacerbated; these conditions create a prime environment for the fire to grow and spread. And to make things even worse, weather conditions for the week are predicting winds up to 80 mph, which will only spread the fire even more.
The Ventura fire, formally known as the Thomas Fire, has already grown to encompass more than 140 square miles, causing nearly 300 schools in the LA area to close their doors for several days. Even residents who are several miles away from fires have been encouraged to stay indoors, and when traveling outdoors, they have been instructed to wear masks to fight the bad air quality.
Many travelers in the area, both locals and visitors, including those who are in town for ca traffic school, are not sure what to expect out of the Thomas Fire, especially regarding LAX flight schedules. It is important to note, though, that US 101, which is California’s longest highway, has been closed from Ventura to Carpinteria because of the fires. Regarding LAX, the airport, as of now (December 9, 2017), is completely operational. Still, because of the partial closure of US 101, traffic is horrible. And in addition to the partial closure of US 101, the 405 Freeway has been closed as well, further aggravating traffic conditions. For those who are flying in and out of LAX, it is recommended to allow plenty of time for traveling to and from the airport.
Also, for those who are traveling by the FlyAway Shuttle to the airport, delays have been reported. As of Thursday, December 7th, 2017, the delays were being reported as normalized, but that could change at any time. If you are traveling by the FlyAway Shuttle, make sure to check for any possible delays and come up with an alternate travel option in case the fires do cause shuttle delays.
What to Expect at LAX: Arrival and Departure Delays?
As of December 9, 2017, there are minimal flight delays regarding arrivals and departures at LAX, and so far, none of these delays have been directly caused by the nearby fires. Another airport located near the fires, the Burbank Airport, has not reported any delays either because of the fires. It is recommended, however, that anyone traveling out of LAX or Burbank Airport to check their flight status. If the Thomas Fire was to worsen and spread, then there is a high likelihood that LAX and the Burbank Airport will be affected as well as any other airports that are nearby. If you happen to be traveling by Southwest or JetBlue and want to change your travel plans because of the fire, you can do so with your fare differences and change fees being waived by the airlines.
Make sure you to check local news to stay up-to-date with the latest information on the Thomas Fire in Ventura County.