On Friday, October 2nd at 4pm on East Guiberson Road in Bardsdale, a traffic collision occurred involving a motorcycle and a deer. Authorities responded quickly to the scene and found the motorcyclist in a ditch on the south side of the road. The motorcyclist was transported to the hospital, and the deer was reported DOA at the scene.
On Friday, October 2nd at 4pm on East Guiberson Road in Bardsdale, a traffic collision occurred involving a motorcycle and a deer. Authorities responded quickly to the scene and found the motorcyclist in a ditch on the south side of the road. The motorcyclist was transported to the hospital, and the deer was reported DOA at the scene.
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On Monday, October 5th, at approximately 3:30am, Ventura County Sherriff’s were called to the 1000 block of Meadowlark Drive in Fillmore to follow up on an investigation of an accidental shooting. It was determined that a Fillmore boy accidentally shot himself. The boy was transported to an area hospital and is expected to recover. There was no additional information.

 


 
On Wednesday, September 3rd at 2:09pm, a traffic collision at 3500 Grimes Canyon was reported, stalling traffic traveling north bound. Emergency crews found a black pickup truck with serious front-end damage by the side of the road. No details were available at the time of the accident. Cause of the crash is unknown.
On Wednesday, September 3rd at 2:09pm, a traffic collision at 3500 Grimes Canyon was reported, stalling traffic traveling north bound. Emergency crews found a black pickup truck with serious front-end damage by the side of the road. No details were available at the time of the accident. Cause of the crash is unknown.
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Today, Ventura County moved off the most restrictive tier of the state’s COVID-19 watch list, which means schools could soon have the option of reopening for in-person instruction at all grade levels. If Ventura County maintains its status for two additional weeks, schools may choose to reopen as early as Wednesday, October 21. However, it will be up to each individual school district to determine exactly when they can safely begin welcoming students back to class. Some schools may choose to reopen their campuses later than October 21 for a variety of reasons.

When they do reopen, schools will need to maintain strict social distancing, keeping students and staff at least six feet away from each other. This means classrooms can only be filled to a fraction of their normal capacity. Schools are also required to keep the same groups of students together to the greatest extent possible to limit the number of people each student is exposed to throughout the day.

In elementary grades, many schools will comply with these rules by bringing only a portion of students to class each day. On the days they are not in class, students will continue receiving instruction through distance learning. This hybrid approach will allow all students to have some in-class instruction a few days per week.

The situation becomes much more complicated in middle school and high school where students switch classrooms and mix with different groups multiple times a day according to each student’s unique schedule. Because of this and the fact that classrooms cannot be filled to capacity, it will be extremely difficult to create a workable in-person schedule at the middle and high school levels. As a result, some schools may determine that the best option is to continue with full-time distance learning.

In addition to scheduling and safety considerations, school districts need to ensure there are enough teachers available to resume in-person instruction. Many teachers are in high risk groups, which could prevent them from returning to class. Others may have reservations about being in a crowded school environment while the pandemic is ongoing.

Another issue that complicates reopening is transportation. Because of social distancing requirements, school buses will not be able to carry the usual number of students. It’s very likely there will not be a sufficient supply of buses and drivers to provide transportation to all students who may need it.

“We recognize that people have passionate feelings on both sides of the school reopening issue, and we want nothing more than to get students safely back to class,” said Stan Mantooth, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools. “I urge everyone to understand that school district leaders are working to reopen in the most responsible way, which may mean spending additional time on distance learning at some schools.”

All Ventura County schools have prepared detailed reopening procedures that will help ensure the safety of students and staff when they return to campus. They include:

• Face coverings will be required for all staff and for students in third grade and above.

• Classrooms will be arranged to keep everyone at least six feet apart.

• Students will be kept in consistent groups (cohorts) as much as possible.

• Parents will be instructed to keep students home whenever they have a temperature or show symptoms.

• Anyone experiencing symptoms at school will be sent home.

• Facilities and equipment will be disinfected on a regular basis.

• School officials will work with Ventura County Public Health on contact tracing if positive cases arise.

• Athletic training and conditioning are allowed with social distancing, but actual competitions are on hold pending further guidance from public health officials.

• Staff will receive COVID-19 testing as required by state and local regulations.

• Staff and students will receive health screenings on a regular basis.

Each school district is communicating independently with parents and students about their reopening timelines. For additional information about reopening protocols, see the Framework for Reopening Ventura County Schools at www.vcoe.org/framework.

 


 

Thanks to recent progress being made in the fight against COVID-19 in Ventura County, businesses such as restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, massage businesses and places of worship may now open indoors, following California Department of Public Health sector specific guidance for reopening, as of 12:01 pm today. The changes come after the County qualified to move into the less restrictive red tier of the State's four-tiered, color-coded reopening system. Until today, Ventura County had been in the state's purple tier, the most restrictive tier.

“This is great news for our County and our business community. We will continue to advocate for our local businesses and appreciate this opportunity to move forward,” said Mike Powers, County Executive Officer.

In order to move into the red tier, the County had to see average case rates drop below 7 per 100,000 people and testing positivity rates dip below 8%. For the past two weeks, Ventura County has met those benchmarks. As of Tuesday, the case rate is 5.5 per 100,000 people and the test positivity rate is 3.0%.

A new Ventura County Health Officer Order has been issued to align with the tier advancement.

Moving into the red tier means the following sectors can reopen with modifications:

• Places of worship, restaurants, movie theaters and museums can be operated indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.

• Gyms can reopen indoors at 10% capacity. 12 feet distancing required in Ventura County.

• All personal care services such as massage, tattoos and piercing salons can open indoors.

• Indoor shopping malls can operate at 50% maximum occupancy (instead of 25%). Food courts can also open following the state's guidelines for restaurants.

• Indoor retail stores can now operate at 50% capacity (instead of 25%)

"The credit belongs to our residents, who have made lots of sacrifices and worked hard to improve our community transmission metrics,” said Rigoberto Vargas, Public Health Director. “That same hard work must continue moving forward so that we don’t revert back to the purple tier and instead continue making progress towards the next tier, orange, so that additional businesses can reopen.”

Elementary and secondary schools can reopen for in-person instruction by October 21 if the county remains the red tier for two more weeks. Currently, elementary schools can apply for a waiver from Public Health to reopen.

“COVID-19 is still circulating in our County. It’s important that community members continue to take all the same precautions so that we can continue to move forward: wear face coverings in public, maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently and stay home if you're sick,” said Doctor Robert Levin, Public Health Officer.

Community members who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person, who have symptoms or who have contact with others outside of their household for their work are encouraged to get tested. County testing sites are available 7 days a week at no cost with no appointment needed. Short wait times and results within 24 hours are the standard right now.

Businesses and other organizations should review their applicable industry guidance for reopening safely from the state. Businesses must also be registered to reopen at www.vcreopens.com. If a business previously registered, they do not need to register again.

The California Department of Public Health has also issued a new Health Equity Metric that goes into effect today. The goal of the metric is to prevent spread among disproportionately impacted Californians. The County of Ventura has been committed to equitable response and serving and protecting the most vulnerable since the beginning of the pandemic. These efforts have included free testing, expanded testing hours and locations, contact tracing, multi-lingual outreach, assistance programs for food, rent and household bills, waived clinic fees, hotel vouchers, permanent housing and more.

“Unlike several other counties, the case rate and testing positivity rates in our most impacted areas do not stand to hold us back from moving tiers. In fact, our positivity rate has improved significantly enough in these areas that we might be eligible for an “accelerator adjustment”, whereby we can move tiers based on that metric alone, even if our overall case rate was to keep us in a lower tier,” said Rigoberto Vargas, Pubic Health Director.

The Health Equity Metric requires that the lowest Healthy Places Index (HPI) quartile be below 8%. To enter the state’s less restrictive Orange Tier, it needs to stay under 5%. The County is currently at 3.6% positivity rate for the lower HPI quartile compared to 3.0% for the County as a whole. The County will continue to support health equity with expanded outreach and support throughout the County.

For more information about COVID-19 in Ventura County, visit www.venturacountyrecovers.org

 
The Fillmore Historical Museum at 400 Central Avenue.
The Fillmore Historical Museum at 400 Central Avenue.
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The Fillmore Historical Museum at 447 Main Street.
The Fillmore Historical Museum at 447 Main Street.
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The Bunkhouse being moved.
The Bunkhouse being moved.
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Damage from 1994 earthquake.
Damage from 1994 earthquake.
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The Museum today.
The Museum today.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

The Fillmore Historical Museum, founded by Edith Moore Jarrett, will soon be celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Edith was born in 1898 in Sespe. She attended the University of Southern California and then returned to Fillmore where she taught high school Spanish for decades. As she taught, she saw a need for Spanish textbooks for high school students. El Camino Real parts 1 and 2 were the result. These were the first Spanish textbooks and were used throughout the nation by generations of students studying the Spanish language.

Edith loved travel and history, so it was inevitable that, in 1970, when the Fillmore Chamber of Commerce began to envision a local museum, they asked her to be its founder. Its first location was on the ground floor of the Masonic Temple building. She put out the word that artifacts were needed, and the locals turned up with hundreds of items from their homes and garages. Very soon volunteers were building cases, organizing the artifacts, and giving tours.

In 1974, Edith bought the Southern Pacific depot for $1 plus 5 cents tax. It was moved from the Southern Pacific right of way to the north side of Main Street near the former fire station where it became the new home for the Museum. When more space was needed Edith purchased a boxcar and filled it with railroad artifacts.

In 1994 the Northridge Earthquake severely damaged the buildings and items in the collection. Museum volunteers rose to the challenge and working with the City of Fillmore, the depot and boxcar were moved to the south side of Main Street. The Corl family donated the small bungalow home of Dr. Ira Hinckley and his wife, Kate and James P. Finch donated bunkhouse #2 from Rancho Sespe. The museum moved both structures and restored them. In 10 years, the Historical Museum had become an Historical Park.

The Museum is currently closed to the public due to Covid-19 but our volunteers have been working behind the scenes on the website, Facebook and on https://theclio.com/entry/99487.

As we work in the collection, we have discovered many hidden gems which we plan on sharing with our visitors. A new exhibit is being created honoring some of our early settlers. This will be ready whenever the museum can re-open.

The Museum receives no financial support from City, County, or State Governments. We are completely supported by donations from our community. The biggest contribution we receive are the many hours our volunteers give to keep the Museum running and welcome our visitors. We are always happy to get new volunteers.

As we approach our golden anniversary, we hope that you, the public will:

• Think about volunteering – there are many ways you can help.

• Add to our collection, we are particularly looking for:
Photos and stories of our military veterans
Photos, stories, and family histories on our settlers, especially those who arrived before 1900.
Oral histories from families – why did your family come to Fillmore, what were their experiences? (We can record/video them)
Photos you would like to share with future generations. We are particularly looking for photos of Piru, “Mexican Town”, Tipperary”, “Stringtown”, Cienega and other communities of our area.

The Fillmore Historical Museum is your community Museum and only exists because of community support. Please call 805 524 0948 or email fillmore.museum@gmail.com to help or to make donations of artifacts.

 
A strong ridge of high pressure will bring an extended heat wave to southwest California with hot and dry conditions through Friday of this week. In addition, very dry conditions and offshore breezes will create elevated to brief critical fire conditions to the area, with potential large smoke plumes and rapid fire spread with any new or existing fire. This is not the time for a long hike or to start outdoor work if you are not prepared for very hot weather. Avoid being outdoors during the hottest part of the day between 10am and 6pm.Drink plenty of water and never leave children or pets in a hot vehicle for any amount of time. In addition, the hot and dry conditions will be very receptive to fire growth that will quickly create strong updrafts and towering smoke plumes. Avoid any fire-related activities during this hot stretch such as campfires, weed abatement, smoking, and fireworks.
A strong ridge of high pressure will bring an extended heat wave to southwest California with hot and dry conditions through Friday of this week. In addition, very dry conditions and offshore breezes will create elevated to brief critical fire conditions to the area, with potential large smoke plumes and rapid fire spread with any new or existing fire. This is not the time for a long hike or to start outdoor work if you are not prepared for very hot weather. Avoid being outdoors during the hottest part of the day between 10am and 6pm.Drink plenty of water and never leave children or pets in a hot vehicle for any amount of time. In addition, the hot and dry conditions will be very receptive to fire growth that will quickly create strong updrafts and towering smoke plumes. Avoid any fire-related activities during this hot stretch such as campfires, weed abatement, smoking, and fireworks.
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Saturday, September 26th the Santa Clara and Historical Museum Sespe riverbed, trails, and path clean up took place starting at Shiell’s Park in Fillmore. Caltrans kindly donated trash bags and loaned 20 trash grabbers for volunteers to use. Pictured are a group of kids and their moms who helped with clean up, along with other groups such as the Bearded Villains of Ventura who came out to help.
Saturday, September 26th the Santa Clara and Historical Museum Sespe riverbed, trails, and path clean up took place starting at Shiell’s Park in Fillmore. Caltrans kindly donated trash bags and loaned 20 trash grabbers for volunteers to use. Pictured are a group of kids and their moms who helped with clean up, along with other groups such as the Bearded Villains of Ventura who came out to help.
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Pictured is the Clampitt Fire coming down to Guiberson Road. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Pictured is the Clampitt Fire coming down to Guiberson Road. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Pictured above is the Sparr Packing House, 1915 (it had been replaced in 1913 after an earlier fire).
Pictured above is the Sparr Packing House, 1915 (it had been replaced in 1913 after an earlier fire).
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Fire crews fighting the fire - Fillmore Herald, Oct. 1, 1970.
Fire crews fighting the fire - Fillmore Herald, Oct. 1, 1970.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Fifty years ago, this week, our community almost came to an end. Southern California was ablaze with the largest wildfire in its history to date. The Clampitt Fire had started on the morning September 25, 1970, in the Newhall Pass and within a few hours the winds pushed it to Malibu. The fire crested the ridge into the Santa Clara River Valley and soon was threatening homes and ranches along Guiberson Road and as well as Newhall Ranch, Camulos and Piru. At the peak of the emergency, there were 700 men on the fire lines with assistance coming from all over the state.

On the evening of September 25, one group of fire trucks from King City was speeding down Hwy 126 east towards the fire when about three miles west of town, they saw the glow of flames in Fillmore. Rather than going on to Simi Valley to fight the Clampitt fire they diverted into Fillmore. The former Sparr Packing House on southwest corner of Central Avenue and Main was on fire. Built in 1913 after being destroyed by an early fire, it now was leased to the Ventura County Fruit Growers. It was not currently in use. It was later determined that two teen-age boys in the structure “gasoline sniffing”, had ignited the gasoline, burning themselves, and setting the building on fire.

Fillmore’s Fire Department was on standby to respond to the Clampitt Fire at the County Fire Station when the call came in to respond to the packing house fire. By then the building was fully engulfed and spreading to neighboring buildings. Besides the King City Fire Department, units from Ventura County, CalFire, Santa Paula and the U. S. Navy joined the fight.

The fire jumped the railroad track and ignited and destroyed Bricker’s Store. In the store was a supply of unsold fireworks left from the 4th of July which ignited along with some ammunition. Parker and Sons Automotive, which was in the Rudkin Building (2020, Genmai’s location) also suffered damage. Dr. Nelson, whose veterinary clinic was on Santa Clara, rushed to the clinic to evacuate his patients to his home and kept the roof of the clinic wet to prevent the building from igniting. According to Dr. Nelson, the heat from the fire was so intense that the telephone poles at the back of the clinic began to burn. The fire departments were able to keep the fire from spreading to the homes to the west. The packing house itself was a total loss.

So, what was happening with Piru and Bardsdale who were still threatened by the Clampitt fire? According to the October 1, 1970 Fillmore Herald, backfires were set to save at least three homes on Newhall Ranch and residents from Jack Warring’s home on Camulos Ranch to the James Shiell’s home on Guiberson road had to evacuate but were saved. Flames lapped at the edges of Elkins Golf Course. For four days, the fire continued to flare up. In total , the Clampitt Fire scorched 107,103 acres of brush and forest, destroyed 80 structures and killed four civilians (source: University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources).

Fillmore has a history of being threatened by fire from the 1905 fire which destroyed most of the Main Street business district, to 1970, to the Thomas Fire. Unfortunately, this will probably not change, so it’s best to be prepared.