Segments in this Video

Introduction: Burning Ojai (03:58)


In December 2017, a wildfire erupts in Ventura County, CA burning close to Santa Paula. The Thomas Fire burns through 282,000 acres of home and habitat. Michael and Noemie Dumont Milano move to Ojai a month before the fire. (Credits)

Thomas Fire Erupts (03:09)

The Santa Ana winds blow strongly. At 6:23pm on December 4, 2017, an individual reports a fire; Olaf Canyon is engulfed in minutes. Emergency calls erupt, stating there are no firefighters in the vicinity.

Thomas Fire: One Hour Later (03:56)

A transformer blows, causing another fire in Upper Ojai. The Santa Ana winds reduce the efficacy of water dropped by airplanes and helicopters. The Milanos evacuate their home.

Mandatory Evacuation (03:37)

Victims discuss how quickly the Thomas Fire spread. Fronts include Ojai, Fillmore, and Santa Paula. The Milanos are evacuated from their hotel and head toward Santa Barbara.

Thomas Fire: Nine Days Later (03:53)

The Milanos drive back to their home and discover their house is still standing; neighbors' homes were destroyed. The public discusses concerns with firefighters at an Upper Ojai community meeting.

Fire Devastation (03:13)

Victims discuss losing their homes and pets. A relief station helps those affected by the wildfire; people sift through the rubble. The air quality is untenable.

Thomas Fire: 27 Days Later (04:30)

A bear survives the fire with burnt feet and is transported for rehabilitation assessment. The Thomas Fire is not the first to ravage Ojai; the fire corridor is difficult to defend. Firefighters worry about rainstorms and potential mudslides.

Mudslides and Flash Floods (03:21)

Vegetation takes several years to return. Michael Milano digs trenches to protect his home. Thirteen people are reported missing in Upper Ojai.

Southern California Edison (03:37)

Fire investigators conclude that transformers caused the Thomas Fire. Leona Mote rebuilds her home and adopts two kittens.

Thomas Fire: Over a Year Later (03:19)

Nature can help humans learn how to live in the area. The Milanos remain in their home in Upper Ojai. Residents refuse to give up. Almost two years after the Thomas Fire, another fire erupts in Santa Paula.

Credits: Burning Ojai (02:54)

Credits: Burning Ojai

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Burning Ojai

3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



This short, personal documentary follows one family and the residents of Ventura County, CA through a journey of devastation, repair, and survival after one of the largest wildfires in state history destroys their beloved community. On December 4, 2017, as the Santa Ana winds whipped through Ventura County at dangerously high speeds, the Thomas Fire broke out and ravaged nearly 282,000 acres of land, making it the largest wildfire in California’s history. Told through a combination of raw footage and interviews with those impacted most, the program follows the residents who endured the fire’s devastation on their homes and businesses, along with the town’s extensive relief and repair efforts. The film is directed by Ojai resident and filmmaker Michael Milano, who also documents the fire’s impact on his own growing family. Ultimately, Burning Ojai underscores the resilience of Ventura County’s residents at a time when the threat of California fires shows no signs of slowing.

Length: 40 minutes

Item#: FPT215645

Copyright date: ©2020

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.