1957 Ford Ranchero Woolsey Fire
On November 8, 2018, a wildfire broke out in Simi Valley (Ventura County). Within a few hours, it was called The Woolsey Fire, named after Woolsey Canyon where the fire began. By the time it was contained, the Woolsey Fire had scorched parts of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, had burned over 96,000 acres, consumed 1,643 structures, forced evacuations of more than 295,000 citizens, and took three lives. It was extinguished on November 21, 2018.
The Woolsey Fire was the second fire in Ventura County within 11 months. On December 4, 2017, The Thomas Fire began in Santa Paula in the early evening, moved west and within 12 hours, had forced evacuations of 25% of the population of Ventura. It continued its torment to Santa Barbara County. In total, 987 homes were destroyed and two lives were lost. It was extinguished on January 12, 2018.
This 1957 Ford Ranchero was one of several cars destroyed by the Woolsey Fire in a privately owned car garage near Paradise Cove, above the City of Malibu. It had just completed a restoration that was two weeks new. The car belonged to famed record producer Thom Panunzio and has been donated by him to the museum.
The Murphy Auto Museum displays this Ford Ranchero and a 1948 KIT Teardrop which were destroyed by these separate fires in order to bring awareness to the visiting public about the destructive behavior of wildfire whipped by high winds.