Friday, December 15, 2017

Island Foxes and the Thomas Fire

Santa Cruz Island shrouded in Thomas Fire smoke, 12/12/17
Yes, there is smoke on the water. While the Thomas Fire is burning on the mainland in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, smoke has blown off-shore engulfing the islands. On satellite images, Santa Cruz Island has frequently disappeared in the smoke.

NASA satellite photo 12/8/17
While embers from the fire did reach Santa Cruz in the early days of the Thomas Fire, no fires ignited on the island. In fact, on Tuesday, Dec. 12, FIF observers reported numerous island foxes behaving normally.

This young fox in the toyon tree was foraging for toyon berries. Can you find the fox in this picture? Other island foxes were hunting on the ground beneath the toyons and redberries. Despite the smoke, island foxes were well.

We know some of the people impacted by the massive Thomas Fire are island fox friends, biologists, National Park employees, and island fox supporters. Friends of the Island Fox extends its thoughts to everyone in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties who have lost homes and been displaced by this tragic event.