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Photos and video show terrifying spread of California's Thomas Fire
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
As wildfires continue to blaze throughout Southern California, displacing residents and destroying buildings, terrifying images and videos show firefighters struggling to battle the historically large Thomas Fire. SEE ALSO: How to help victims of the Southern California wildfires As of Monday morning, the fire had grown to 230,500 acres, and spread from Ventura County into Santa Barbara County. Ventura County's crisis center reports that the fire is 15 percent contained.  The fire's flames are being fed by strong Santa Ana winds and plenty of fuel in the form of dried out plant life that grew after a wet winter and subsequently dried out after a dry summer in the state. The fire has grown to over 230,000 acres, and threatens areas in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.Image: Ventura county fire department The #ThomasFire so far:–230,500 acres–15% contained–796 structures destroyed–18,000 buildings threatened–New evacuation orders issued Sunday nighthttps://t.co/HoFWZT15W1 pic.twitter.com/OXztvKrPBe — Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 11, 2017 Firefighters have made progress quenching the flames on the fire's southern side, and City of Ventura residents have been allowed to return to their homes.  However, the fire's latest drive north into Santa Barbara has triggered additional evacuations in Carpinteria and Montecito.  Flames come close to a house as the Thomas Fire advances toward Santa Barbara County seaside communities.Image: David McNew/Getty Images #ThomasFire - FF’s knock down flames as they advance on homes atop Shepherd Mesa Road in Carpinteria at 6 am Sunday morning. pic.twitter.com/86OjtRh9hQ — SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) December 10, 2017 Massive imposing smoke from #ThomasFire today. Looking west from Newbury Park. pic.twitter.com/gekRcWcPiO — Greg Vit (@gvitty) December 10, 2017 A firefighter battling the Thomas Fire near Lake Casitas.Image: David McNew/Getty Images Firefighters use drip torches to set a backfire at night in an effort to make progress against the Thomas Fire.Image: David McNew/Getty ImagesAccording to the Los Angeles Times, 88,000 people have had to evacuate their homes, and the cost of fighting the fire is estimated at $25 million. The Thomas Fire continues to rage as firefighters also work to contain the Creek, Rye, Skirball, and Lilac fires in Los Angeles and San Diego counties. Firefighters watch after setting a backfire at night to make progress against the Thomas Fire,Image: David McNew/Getty Images The Thomas fire burns through Los Padres National Forest.Image: Noah Berger/AP/REX/Shutterstock Horses that were evacuated from the Thomas Fire are seen on December 10, 2017 in Ojai, California.Image: David McNew/Getty Images Firefighters monitor a section of the Thomas Fire along the 101 freeway.Image: Mario Tama/Getty ImagesCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown called the fires a "terrible tragedy," and also warned that, thanks to climate change, massive wildfire seasons could become the norm. “This could be something that happens every year or every few years,” Brown said. “We’re about to have a firefighting Christmas.” DEC 10: Christmas decorations illuminate a house as the growing Thomas Fire advances toward Santa Barbara County.Image: David McNew/Getty Images DEC 10:: People watch as the Thomas Fire advances toward Santa Barbara County.Image: David McNew/Getty ImagesCelebrities like Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey, who live in the area, have tweeted their support for those in the path of the fires. Everyone in the Montecito area is checking up on each other and helping to get people and animals to safety. I’m proud to be a part of this community. I’m sending lots of love and gratitude to the fire department and sheriffs. Thank you all. #ThomasFire — Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 10, 2017 Peace be Still, is my prayer tonight. For all the fires raging thru my community and beyond. #peacebestill — Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) December 11, 2017 Schools remain closed, and the University of California, Santa Barbara has postponed exams until after the new year. Final exams scheduled for the coming week will be rescheduled for the week of January 8. #UCSB students who wish to leave campus are encouraged to do so. Please read additional details in this Sunday memo from Chancellor Yang: https://t.co/fIwSFD0iFm — UC Santa Barbara (@ucsantabarbara) December 10, 2017 Fires this morning above Carpenteria High School. Evacuations in this area. #kcrw #kcrwsantabarbara #ThomasFire pic.twitter.com/BM0f2acGXH — Saul Gonzalez (@SaulKCRW) December 11, 2017 8,500 firefighters are battling six wildfires across Southern California. Along with the massive wildfires that ravaged Northern California wine country this fall, 2017 has made for one of the worst fire seasons in California's history. Going above and beyond clearing a path for fire personal to get in and out with a Caltrans plow on hwy 33 north of Ojai. #Hwy33 #ThomasFire #ForestService #Caltrans @LosPadresNF @usfs_r5 @R5_Fire_News pic.twitter.com/WQt6gLPQct — RW805 (@RW805) December 11, 2017 The massive #ThomasFire from Oxnard. pic.twitter.com/Yn6jG5kZw3 — Joe Buttitta (@KEYTNC3Joe) December 10, 2017 National Guard helicopters make water drop as the Thomas Fire approaches the Lake Casitas.Image: David McNew/Getty Images #ThomasFire- View from Shepard Mesa Drive at 3:48 am looking north. SBSO has evacuated area & FD has engines on structure protection. pic.twitter.com/trdzfOMFCJ — SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) December 10, 2017 WATCH: Different parts of the US are experiencing totally opposite weather extremes read more
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