On Dec. 4, the Thomas Fire erupted in Santa Paula and Ventura County. Pushed by powerful Santa Ana winds, the fire spread with explosive speed Monday night and into Tuesday morning, forcing thousands to evacuate in the dark.
The fire began north of Santa Paula on Monday evening and spread into the edges of Ventura, a city of more than 100,000 people situated on the Pacific coast, the county sheriff's office said.
For more information on the Thomas Fire, including updated evacuations, click here.
These are the latest updates:
UPDATE: (1:47 p.m., Dec. 12) Mandatory evacuations lifted for areas of Lake Casitas in Ventura County.
UPDATE: (6:16 p.m., Dec. 11) Fire crews make slight progress on Thomas Fire, lift evacuation orders for parts of the city of Ventura.
Fire officials said Monday evening, the Thomas Fire has burned 231,700 acres and is at 20 percent containment.
Officials also announced evacuations have been lifted in some areas of Ventura. Mandatory evacuations remain in place for areas north of Foothill Road from Day to Kimball roads.
UPDATE: (5:00 a.m. Dec 11) Covering 230,000 acres, the Thomas Fire is now the fifth largest blaze in modern California history. Over the weekend, dry and windy conditions helped the Thomas Fire grow to 230,000 acres, according to fire officials.
Firefighters are struggling to contain the biggest of six blazes burning in southern California, with the Thomas Fire slipping from 15% containment to 10% Sunday.
#ThomasFire [update] Hwy 150 and Hwy 126, north of Santa Paula (Ventura County) is now 230,000 acres and 10% contained. Unified Command: CAL FIRE, @VCFD_PIO @LosPadresNF @VenturaCityFD . https://t.co/vfLtDXYjzO pic.twitter.com/ChzOV5PC8V— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) December 11, 2017
Gusty winds and dry conditions are not helping the wildfire's spread.
UPDATE: (10:12 a.m., Dec. 10)
Cal Fire officials said Sunday morning the Thomas Fire has burned 173,000 acres and is 15 percent contained. More than 88,000 residents have been evacuated, while 15,000 homes remain threatened.
This is a current fire evacuation map from Cal Fire.
UPDATE: (7:32 p.m., Dec. 8)
Fire officials in Ventura County said a total 532 structures have been destroyed and another 118 damaged. 4,000 firefighters have been deployed to fight the fire. The firefight has cost $17 milliion so far.
According to Cal Fire, the Thomas Fire has burned 143,000 acres and is at 10 percent containment.
UPDATE: (5:53 p.m., Dec. 8)
Here's an updated fire evacuation map for Santa Barbara County areas affected by the Thomas Fire.
UPDATE: (3:37 p.m., Dec. 8) More than 87,000 people evacuated from the Thomas Fire
The Ventura County Fire Department said Friday afternoon 87,043 people have been evacuated because of the Thomas Fire.
UPDATE: (9:30 a.m. Dec. 8) Right now, 15,000 structures are threatened. There are 401 homes destroyed and 81 structures damaged. Currently, there are over 3,500 personnel at the Thomas Fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to VCFD. Officials do no know the expected containment date.
Updated Fire Map:
UPDATE: (6:15 a.m.Dec. 8) Thomas Fire grows to 132,000 acres and is 10 percent contained, according to Ventura County Fire Public Information Officer.
#ThomasFire updated numbers: 132,000 acres, 10% contained. Opportunities to validate acreage has allowed us to increase accuracy and thus the number of acres increased.— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) December 8, 2017
UPDATE: (6:17 p.m., Dec. 7) Thomas Fire rages out of control burning 115,000 acres, hundreds of structures lost.
Fire officials in Ventura said the Thomas Fire has burned 115,000 acres and more than 400 structures have been destroyed. The fire is still at only 5 percent containment.
UPDATE: (1:19 p.m., Dec. 7) Cal Fire advises red flag warnings elevate fire danger through Saturday.
UPDATE: (12:34 p.m., Dec. 7) CHP closes SR-33 at Lockwood Valley Road.
According to CHP's traffic incident page, SR-33 is closed to all traffic and residents at Lockwood Valley Road because of the Thomas Fire.
UPDATE: (12:26 p.m., Dec. 7) Caltrans says there are intermittent closures on Highway 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara.
UPDATE: (10:00 a.m. Dec. 7) National Weather Service released an updated map of the fire activity and perimeters.
Latest fire activity & perimeters (as of 9:30AM Thurs. Dec. 7, 2017) for the Thomas, Rye, Creek, and Skirball wildfires in Ventura & Los Angeles Counties.— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) December 7, 2017
Image accessed via: https://t.co/DNloxk2nze #Thomasfire #Ryefire #Creekfire #Skirballfire #CAwx #SoCal #LAweather pic.twitter.com/OxV6qRqi7S
UPDATE: (7:00 a.m. Dec. 7) The Thomas Fire is now 96,000 acres and five percent contained, according to Ventura County Fire Department PIO. The US 101 is opened both directions after being shutdown earlier this morning, according to Ventura CHP.
#ThomasFire is now at 96,000 acres with 5% containment.— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) December 7, 2017
UPDATE: (4:25 a.m. Dec. 7) Ventura County Sheriff's Office tweeted that Highway 101 is closed in both directions north of Highway 126 and Highway 150. Hwy 101 is closed at 126 to all northbound traffic. The southbound side is closed at Bates Road at the Santa Barbara County line. Highway 150 is also closed between Carpinteria and Ojai. There is no open route between Ventura and Santa Barbara at this time. AVOID the area, per VCSO.
US 101 is closed in both directions between Carpinteria and Ventura. With S/R 150 also closed between Carpinteria and Ojai, there is no viable route between Santa Barbara and Ventura. Avoid the area. #ThomasFire— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) December 7, 2017
UPDATE: (8:41 p.m., Dec 6) Cal Fire says the Thomas Fire is now at 5 percent containment.
Cal Fire said 90,000 acres have burned in the Thomas Fire. 150 structures have been destroyed while 12,000 remain threatened.
Officials issued a dire warning of Santa Ana winds gaining strength over the coming days. Residents are urged to heed official warnings and to remain alert as conditions may change.
UPDATE: (6:18 p.m., Dec. 6) Ventura County Fire officials provide an update on the Thomas Fire saying the fire has grown to 90,000 acres with 0 percent containment.
UPDATE: (4:27 p.m., Dec. 6) Caltrans announces more road closures in Ventura County.
#ThomasFire UPDATE: Route 150 in #Ventura County now closed between Santa Ana Road (at Lake Casitas) and Route 192 (Casitas Pass Road) near Carpinteria. @OjaiPoliceDept @VCSOVentura @CHPMoorpark pic.twitter.com/EDv4QNOlfU— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) December 7, 2017
UPDATE: (12:25 p.m. Dec. 6) Officials describe "extremely critical" fire weather expected to arrive in the next week, according to fire officials at a press conference held in Ventura. Officials said this is just the beginning of more Santa Ana winds expected through the weekend. Right now, 2,000 fire personnel are working to battle the flames. Officials said they have evacuated 50,000 people from 15,000 homes. They stress that residents pay attention to updates provided online by emergency personnel. The Thomas Fire is moving west toward the Santa Barbara County line and 12,000 homes are threatened.
UPDATE: (7:00 a.m. Dec. 6) Thomas Fire reaches 65,000 acres, according to Cal Fire. There is no word on how many structures have burned. Officials said the fire has no containment.
UPDATE: (5:00 a.m. Dec. 6) Officials expected to release updated information this morning. 17 News spoke with evacuees overnight at the shelter set up by the American Red Cross. The strong winds have returned to the area as firefighters continue to battle the flames.
UPDATE: (5:00 p.m. Dec. 5) Ventura County Fire officials provide update to Thomas Fire
The fire has destroyed 150 structures and threatens 3,000 more. 27,000 residents have been evacuated, but officials advise more to leave.
UPDATE: (4:00 p.m. Dec. 5) Local Red Cross Volunteers head to Ventura County to help with relief efforts. For more information, click here.
UPDATE: (2:15 p.m. Dec. 5) The Thomas Fire grows to 50,000 acres, according to Cal Fire. The Thomas Fire, burning north of Santa Paula along Highways 150 and 126 is now 50,000 acres.
#ThomasFire [update] Hwy 150 and Hwy 126, north of Santa Paula (Ventura County) is now 50,000 acres. Unified Command: CAL FIRE, @VCFD, @LosPadresNF and @VenturaCityFD https://t.co/vfLtDXYjzO pic.twitter.com/MCfU8D4aDG— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) December 5, 2017
UPDATE: (12:00 p.m. Dec. 5) Governor Brown Declares State of Emergency in Ventura County. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency proclamation for Ventura County due to the effects of the Thomas Fire, which has damaged critical infrastructure, destroyed hundreds of homes and caused the evacuation of residents.
UPDATE: (8:00 a.m. Dec. 5) The fire increases in size, Kern County Fire Department sends firefighters. During a morning press conference at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura County fire officials said the fire is now 45,000 acres. The fire has destroyed 150 homes and 27,000 are being asked to evacuate. Officials do not have a cause for the fire, according to Ventura County Fire Chief Lorenzen.
Kern County Fire Department has sent 59 personnel to battle the flames.
#kerncountyfirefighters are arriving on scene at #ThomasFire. @kern_county_fire have sent a Type 3 strike team (5 engines), Lima Strike team, (2 dozers), and 2 hand crews (C10 and C11). 59 of your #KernCountyProfessionalFirefighters are deployed as of now. #SantaPaula #Ventura #staysafe #fireindecember
UPDATE (7:00 a.m. Dec. 5) Ventura County fire officials released an updated map of the fire's perimeter.
UPDATE: (3:41 a.m. Dec. 5) The fire has burned 31,000 acres, destroyed 150 structures and is forcing 27,000 people to evacuate.
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