b'The past few years have prepared Dubin forthe Ventura County Fire Department.flooding, but the big freeze this February tookThis created an electrical arc, which caused Houstonians by surprise, with temperaturesthe fire that burned a total of 281,893 acres dropping to a historic low of 5 F. and destroyed 1,063 structures. One civilian An arctic cold front passed over south- The rapidlyand one firefighter were killed in the blaze.eastern Texas on Valentines Day, as per theIt only took a few hours for the fire to National Weather Service, bringing snow,changing climate is areach Foxs town, sending hundreds of Ventu-sleet, and freezing rain. Temperatures plum- real concern, but ourra homes up in flames, igniting in succession meted into the teens or single digits, withlike matchsticks, she recalls. wind chills in the single digits or below zero. store and family areDuring the busy December shopping The icy conditions and the extreme colddeeply rooted in theseason, Fox had to close her doors for a made roads impassable, and caused wide- week due to the smoke, sending her sales spread power outages that lasted for days. community. Movingplummeting.Dubin recalls the significant damage toWildfires aside, even the daily homes across the area, from prolonged pow- our business wouldweather in her section of South-er outages to broken water pipes.be starting over. ern California has undergone a And his store, of course, was closed change, she says, echoing what for a week. DEBBIE FOX, FOX FINE JEWELRY Dubin noted in Houston.On the West Coast, Debbie Fox of FoxThe weather is clearly differ-Fine Jewelry in Ventura, California, is dealingent, marked by long periods of with extreme weather of a different kind. complete dryness and an uptick in the dura-The danger here is fire, and we have firetion and intensity of howling winds. When it coverage, says Fox. does rain, it pours, says Fox.In December 2017, the Thomas Fire tore throughAs for her insurance rates, she doesnt believe the Ventura and Santa Barbara counties after highdevastating 2017 Thomas Fire pushed them higher, winds caused power lines to meet, according tobut rising costs could be on the horizon.Smoke from the 2017 Thomas Fire lingered around Fox Fine Jewelry in Ventura, California for a week.NATIONAL JEWELER 15'