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Thomas Fire live updates: As fire moves into Santa Barbara County, blaze grows to 234,200 acres

Tens of thousands of residents have been asked to leave their homes due to the Thomas Fire. Here are the latest updates.
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The Thomas Fire burns across several hillsides along Highway 150 near Santa Paula late Monday, threatening several neighborhoods. ANTHONY PLASCENCIA/THE STAR

Flames can be seen in the distance on Sunday night in Carpinteria.(Photo: GRETCHEN WENNER/THE STAR)

Thomas Fire: Day 9

Acres: 234,200 • Containment: 20 percent • Buildings destroyed: 868 • Cost: $48.6 million 

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday 12:15 p.m.: The City of Ventura lifted a boil advisory for residents north of Poli Street and Foothill Road, the last remaining areas under the advisory.

“It is no longer necessary to boil tap water or to consume bottled water in the City of Ventura,” officials said.

Tuesday 10 a.m.: Capt. Stan Ziegler, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman, said firefighters saw favorable conditions Monday night increasing containment to 20 percent.

Ziegler said Tuesday’s winds were cooperating, pushing flames away from the populated areas of Santa Barbara County.

The fire continued to burn in the Sespe Wilderness area northwest of Fillmore though crews planned to make a stand today to slow the fire’s progress.

Tuesday 7 a.m.: The Thomas Fire gained 3,000 acres overnight and was 234,200 acres in size as of Tuesday morning.

Monday 11:50 p.m. Nighttime fire activity flared up visibility in Fillmore. Hills above Montecito burned brightly, making the fire visible from Santa Barbara and bringing night-flying helicopters. A late-night flareup near Highway 150 and Red Mountain Road, just west of Lake Casitas, threatened structures and also brought night-flying helicopters.

Monday 8:30 p.m. The Ventura City Council votes 7-0 to declare a local emergency. 

More: Ventura turns its focus to recovery as Thomas Fire continues north

Monday 6 p.m. By nightfall, the Thomas Fire reached 231,700 acres at 20 percent containment. The fire's cost was pegged at $48 million. So far, 868 structures were destroyed and another 187 damaged.

An estimated 7,000 firefighters were battling the blaze as it made its way north into Santa Barbara County. A new camp was established at Lake Cachuma to accommodate resources needed for the fire in Carpinteria and Montecito where evacuations were imposed Sunday.

Monday 4:20 p.m. Ventura The voluntary and mandatory evacuations for Ventura have been lifted for all areas except those north of Foothill Road from Day Road to Kimball Road. This area is still under mandatory evacuation.

Monday 2:58 p.m. The address of a community meeting being held at 7 p.m. Monday in Santa Paula has changed. It will be held at the Santa Paula Community Center, 530 W. Main St. 

Monday 1:28 p.m. Mandatory evacuations have been lifted for the area along Highway 150 from Reeves Road to Osborn Road. The orders have also been lifted for the areas east of Highway 33, south of Cozy Ojai Road, west of Foothill Road and north of Fairview Road. 

Additionally, a community meeting has been scheduled for 4 p.m. in Santa Barbara at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Ave. 

Monday 11:44 a.m. Santa Paula A community meeting has been set for Monday at 7 p.m. at the Santa Paula Community Center at 530 W. Santa Paula St. Cal Fire said representatives from the agencies managing the incident will provide an operational briefing and be available for questions. Residents who go are asked to arrive early. In the meantime, for questions about the meeting or the fire, call the fire information line at 805-465-6650.

Monday 7 a.m.:  The Thomas Fire added 500 acres overnight bringing its size to 230,500 acres as of Monday morning. Crews increased containment to 15 percent.

The blaze continued to march westward, threatening Santa Barbara County. Crews will continue to experience dry and gusty conditions Monday.

Sunday 9 p.m.  The Thomas Fire was causing intermittent outages in Santa Barbara, affecting more than 85,000 customers, according to Southern California Edison. In Ventura, 2,432 customers are without power but generators were deployed.

Sunday 7 p.m. Fire containment levels dropped Sunday to 10 percent as the blaze grew by 56,000 acres. It progressed 7 miles westward, well into Santa Barbara County, where parts of Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito were threatened. The total footprint expanded to 230,000 acres.

More: Thomas Fire bursts into Santa Barbara County Sunday, exploding to 230,000 acres

Fillmore: Increased fire activity was reported in Fillmore when flames chewed through retardant lines. Extra firefighting resources have been deployed there.

644 homes lost: Cal Fire officials broke out property damage estimates by category, providing an initial tally for single-family homes. Another 165 houses have been damaged.

Evacuations liftedin Ventura County: Mandatory orders were lifted for Ventura City Hall and streets directly surrounding it, including Poli Street and Poli Alley Way.

A mandatory order was also lifted for Poinsettia Pavilion at 3451 Foothill Road in Ventura.

Evacuations expanded In Santa Barbara County: mandatory orders were widened to include all areas east of Mission Canyon Road that lie north of State Route 192. SR-192 is called by multiple names including Foothill Road, Sycamore Canyon Road, East Valley Road and Casitas Pass Road as it cuts through different areas. 

Voluntary evacuations were in place for all of Carpinteria and Summerland south of SR-192, and for Montecito between SR-192 and Highway 101.

A complete list of evacuations and road closures may be found at www.CountyofSB.org or www.ReadyVenturaCounty.org. 

More: Thomas Fire sweeps through Ondulando neighborhood in Ventura

Sunday 6 p.m.: Officials provide update from the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Sunday 4 p.m.: Officials held a community briefing in Santa Barbara.

Sunday 1:45 p.m. Agencies working on the fire will host a community meeting Sunday afternoon at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Ave. in Santa Barbara, at 4 p.m. Representatives from agencies working on the fire will hold a briefing and answer questions. People are advised to arrive early. Call the information line at 805-465-6650 for more information. 

Sunday 1:35 p.m. Officials said a mandatory evacuation in the city of Ventura from Ventura Avenue north of West Main Street and east of Highway 33 was lifted just after noon Sunday.

Sunday 12:45 p.m. Cal Fire officials said a firefighter suffered a leg injury Sunday while working on the Thomas Fire and is currently being evaluated at a local hospital.

Sunday 12:40 p.m. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff has issued new evacuations warnings for Santa Barbara County as the fire continues to move north. The new areas are the area of Hot Springs Road to Buena Vista Drive and State Route 192 to East Camino Cielo; Mission Canyon Road to Cold Springs Road between Alameda Padre Serra and State Route 192; and Alameda Padre Serra to Hot Springs/El Rancho Road between South Salinas Street and State Route 192. A complete list of evacuations and road closures may be found at www.CountyofSB.org or www.ReadyVenturaCounty.org. 

Sunday 11:25 a.m. The fire continues to make for unhealthy air in much of Ventura County and now parts of Santa Barbara County. The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District said the Santa Ana winds that continue to blow are causing heavy smoke in the plume and downwind of the fire around the cities of Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Paula and Ojai. Air quality is especially bad in the Ojai Valley area where it has at times reached hazardous levels. The coastal plains are also experiencing unhealthy air, the air pollution district reports. Go to vcapcd.org or follow them on Twitter at @vcapcd for the latest updates.

Sunday 11 a.m. For the latest information regarding Santa Barbara County, go to https://www.countyofsb.org/thomasfire.sbc#update.

Sunday 10:45 a.m. The County of Ventura has launched a website with resources for those affected by the Thomas Fire. Go to Ventura County Recovers at www.VenturaCountyRecovers.org.

Officials said the site includes information on debris removal, rebuilding, permits, property re-assessment, hazardous materials and health issues.

Sunday 10:30 a.m. The fire continued to burn in the Carpinteria area this morning fanned by Santa Ana winds.

As of today, Cal Fire said 15,000 structures are threatened by the fire, including in various parts of the cities of Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Carpinteria, as well as in Casitas Springs, Matilija Canyon, and other unincorporated areas of Ventura County.

The fire still is expected to spread toward the Sespe Wilderness and the Sespe Condor Sanctuary, which are in the Los Pdres National Forest north of Fillmore.

Sunday 9 a.m. Calfire says 754 structures have been destroyed and 162 structures damaged by the Thomas Fire.

Sunday 8:30 a.m. Here is the expanded evacuation zone for Santa Barbara County:

The mandatory order has been expanded to include from Buena Vista east to the County line and north of Highway 192 (E. Valley Road), to include the 900 block of Park Lane east.

The voluntary evacuation warning has has been expanded to include East of Hot Springs to Buena Vista Drive, north of Highway 192 (E. Valley Road) and East of Eucalyptus Lane /San Ysidro to the County line, south of Highway 192 to the ocean.

For animal evacuations, residents in Santa Barbara County are asked to call 805-681-4332.

The Thomas Fire has interrupted transmission lines for the Santa Barbara area are leaving more than 85,000 customers without electric power.

Sunday 7:45 a.m. The fire continued to be 15 percent contained at 155,000 acres with 4,435 personnel working. Driven by Santa Ana winds the fire grew overnight and was moving west into Santa Barbara County, Cal Fire reported.

Topography and wind have hampered containment efforts and the fire still threatens structures in the cities of Ventura, Ojai, Casitas Springs, Santa Paula, Carpinteria, Fillmore and the unincorporated areas of Ventura County and Matilija Canyon.

A red flag warning will remain in effect Sunday but winds are expected to diminish in the afternoon.

Sunday 4 a.m. The National Weather Service says an extended period of Santa Ana offshore winds will continue through at least Sunday, focused over much of Ventura County. Gusts will generally be in the 40 to 55 mph range, but still much weaker than Thursday. As a result, critical red-flag fire warning conditions will persist over most of Los Angeles and Ventura counties through Sunday, with a chance of some areas lasting through Monday. Winds will gradually weaken Sunday night through Tuesday.

Meanwhile, minimum humidities of 3 to 10 percent will be common through at least the middle of the week, with widespread overnight levels mostly staying under 30 percent.

Widespread elevated fire weather conditions and prolonged very dry weather will continue through much of next week, with no possibility of rain over the next 10 days, forecasters say. 

Sunday 1:30 a.m. City and county officials asked for patience from Venturans who live in areas evacuated due to the Thomas Fire. “We won’t let anybody back until it’s safe,” Ventura City Manager Mark Watkins told an overflow crowd in a community meeting at Buena High School on Saturday. Law enforcement officers, however, are escorting residents into the affected neighborhoods for the few minutes it takes to gather belongings or clean out refrigerators. The police chief said there have been more than a dozen incidents of looting. Read more: Parts of Ventura remain closed to residents.

Saturday

Saturday 11:30 p.m. Earlier today, David Clark with Cal Fire explained the progression of the Thomas Fire and which parts of the fire are most active.

Saturday 10:40 p.m. Southern California Gas and its holding company, Sempra Energy, announced the donation of more than $150,000 to charities supporting victims of the Thomas Fire and other Southern California wildfires. Company officials said $50,000 will go to the American Red Cross of Ventura County and the Ventura County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services. The remaining donation will be split between several organizations throughout Southern California, including the Southern California Wildfire Fund, Ventura County Animal Services, the Humane Society of Ventura County , the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Santa Clarita Disaster Coalition and the Gentle Barn animal shelter in Santa Clarita.

Saturday 10:25 p.m. The area covered by the Thomas Fire as of Saturday was more than 230 square miles. That's about the same size as Chicago. 

Saturday 10:07 p.m.  Air pollution in Ojai has been off the charts due to smoke from the Thomas Fire, Phil Moyer, an air quality specialist with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, told Tribune Content Agency. “It’s the highest reading we’ve seen. It’s crazy numbers,” Moyer said. The air quality index, a measurement of pollution in the air, is considered unhealthy at a rating of 151 or higher. The worst category is “hazardous” and covers ratings between 301 and 500, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Pollution levels in Ojai have been averaging over 500, with smoke from the Thomas fire trapped by the mountains that encircle the mountain town, Moyer said.

Saturday 9:26 p.m. Firefighters have continued to encounter difficulty on the east side of the fire above Fillmore. Crews have used helicopters to drop water on that portion to try to contain the fire. Firefighters have made progress on the west side of the blaze. “This is a complex fire,” Rich Macklin, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department, was quoted by Tribune Content Agency. “There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of men and women with packs on their backs, squirting the hills, putting the wet stuff on the red stuff.”

Saturday 6 p.m. Officials said at a news briefing that Thomas Fire had grown to 155,000 acres and was 15 percent contained. Officials said 4,400 personnel were battling the blaze and that the cost of fighting it so far has reached $25 million. Additional resources are still being brought in, officials said. Officials said 88,000 people had been evacuated since the start of the fire on Monday. 

Officials said that in Ventura, 107 buildings had been damaged and 460 had been destroyed. In unincorporated areas, 37 buildings had been damaged and 140 had been destroyed. The surveying of structure damage is about 50 percent complete, officials said. 

Officials at the briefing said that Santa Ana winds are again growing and will present problems for firefighters Saturday night and Sunday, with intensity decreasing as it gets later on Sunday. The biggest threat will be west of the Highway 33 corridor, with winds reaching 35 to 40 mph. Winds will not be as strong east of Highway 33 due to the nature of Santa Ana winds, officials said. 

Officials said that currently, the toughest challenge for firefighters is in the western portion of the fire. 

Saturday 4:30 p..m. Crews said the Thomas Fire has crossed the Santa Barbara county line near Old Man Mountain, a mountain peak within Los Padres National Forest.Traffic along Cañada Larga Road was shut down by law enforcement to prevent onlookers from obstructing the roadway.

Saturday 4:15 p.m. Los Padres National Forest officials announced the closure of access to parts of the forest due to the spread of the Thomas Fire.  The ranger districts of Los Padres National Forest covering Ojai, Mt. Pinos, and Santa Barbara are closed until further notice.

Saturday 3:30 p.m. Crews had to run for their lives as flames from the Thomas Fire flared dangerously this afternoon at De La Garrigue Road and Highway 150 near Ojai. Crews had been trying to fight the flames but had to make a fast retreat.

Saturday 3 p.m. Authorities shut down high-voltage power lines along Santa Ana Road north of Highway 150 due to the area being impacted by the Thomas Fire. Highway 150 was also closed at Ranch Road due to fire activity, with no estimated time of reopening, according to CHP.

Firefighters tried to fight the Thomas Fire at De La Garrigue Road and Highway 150 near Ojai on Saturday, but the flames grew too big, so they had to make a fast retreat.  JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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Firefighters run for their lives Saturday at De La Garrigue Road and Highway 150 near Ojai on Saturday. Crews were fighting the Thomas Fire, but the flames grew too big, so they had to run. The blaze continued to burn strongly in that area on Saturday.  JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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Crews battled the Thomas Fire on Saturday at De La Garrigue Road and Highway 150 near Ojai, but they had to retreat. The blaze continued to burn strongly toward homes in that area on Saturday.  JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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The Thomas Fire burns heavily on Saturday at De La Garrigue Road and Highway 150 near Ojai.  JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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Crews battled the Thomas Fire on Saturday at De La Garrigue Road and Highway 150 near Ojai, but when the the flames grew too big, they had to retreat in a hurry.  JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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A firefighter runs for his life Saturday at De La Garrigue Road and Highway 150 near Ojai on Saturday as the Thomas Fire flares up.  JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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    Saturday 1:20 p.m. A capacity crowd filled a community meeting about the Thomas Fire at Buena High School in Ventura. “I knew it had the potential to be the fire we never wanted to see,” said city of Ventura Fire Chief David Endaya. People cheered when he said crews got 27,000 people out of the hillside communities in less than an hour Monday night.

    Saturday 12:50 p.m. A new brush fire on Highway 118 in Simi Valley has reportedly shut down the westbound freeway around the Yosemite Avenue onramp. Initial reports indicate firefighters had stopped the fire's forward progress and contained it to grass on the ramp. Numerous units responded.

    Saturday 12:10 p.m. Officials said at a news conference that the Thomas Fire is now 148,000 acres and is 15 percent contained. Officials said there are 8,500 firefighters working to battle the six large fires burning across Southern California, which have destroyed 793 structures.

    Officials said the Santa Ana winds that drove the Southern California wildfires were expected and that California is no stranger to them. But they said what's different this time was the sustained period of wind, the intensity and the dryness.

    Gov. Jerry Brown spoke at the Ventura news conference, saying that due to climate change and drought, "This is kind of the new normal."

    Brown said we're "facing a new reality in this state" where fires threaten our homes and livelihood. He said it's necessary to have the resources to combat such fires and also invest in managing vegetation.

    "Some scientists are saying that Southern California is literally burning up," he said. He said climate change is a global problem and that efforts will need to be made internationally to address the issue.

    Saturday 7 a.m. Containment efforts were hampered overnight by wind and topography, Cal Fire reported. Homes and structures remain threatened in parts of Ventura, Ojai, Casitas Springs, Santa Paula, Carpinteria and Fillmore as well as in areas of unincorporated Ventura County including Matilija Canyon.

    The fire is expected to spread west on Saturday toward Santa Barbara County, Sespe Wilderness and the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Winds are expected to diminish in the afternoon, though a Red Flag warning remains in effect.

    The Thomas Fire was estimated to have burned through 148,000 acres so far. Some 537 structures have been destroyed and another 118 damaged, according to Cal Fire's tally. The fire, which started Monday evening, is 15 percent contained.

    Burned homes sit throughout the from Hobson Heights neighborhood in Ventura. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY SUE L. HALL)

    Saturday 3:20 a.m. Crystal Kolden, a fire ecologist at the University of Idaho, said there is no precedent in modern history for this much fire in Southern California this late in the year. Kolden searched state fire records dating back to the 1800s and found just one fire, nearly 60 years ago, that had burned more than 50,000 acres in Southern California in December. The ongoing Thomas Fire alone, by contrast, has already burned more than twice that. "I think this sort of clustering of fires in December is definitely not something that we've seen," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA. Read more: Southern California fires are destructive and unprecedented — and a sign of things to come.

    Saturday 2 a.m. Firefighters in Southern California were on high alert for dangerous fire potential even before the first blazes broke out. But once flames met ferocious winds, fire crews were mostly powerless to stop infernos that destroyed more than 500 buildings, killed dozens of horses and forced hundreds of thousands of people to run from six out-of-control fires that have burned more 260 square miles since Monday, The Associated Press reports. "The crews were trying to stay out ahead of this as quickly as they could," said Capt. Kendal Bortisser of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention. "As we know, when a tornado hits the Midwest, there's no stopping it. When a hurricane hits the East Coast, there's no stopping it. When Santa Ana winds come in, there's no stopping them."

    The sun shines through a burned tree at Grant Park in Ventura. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY SUE L. HALL)

    Friday

    Friday 10:47 p.m. Federal biologists are concerned that the Thomas Fire is marching toward a California condor nest that’s the home of a turkey-size fledgling. “There are limited opportunities to protect that nest, which is in a cave on a hillside,” said Kirk Gilligan, deputy project leader of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hopper Mountain California Condor Recovery Program. “But, if necessary, aerial water drops could cool things down. This fledgling is expected to take its first flight out of the nest any day now. Trouble is, condors don’t generally get very far on their first flight.” Adult condors are protective but might abandon a chick if smoke and ash from the fire become too intense, scientists said. The nest is in Los Padres National Forest’s Sespe Condor Sanctuary, about six miles west of Fillmore. Besides federally endangered California condors, the area is home to mountain lions, deer, coyotes, black bears and a herd of about 30 bighorn sheep. The area is also home to arroyo toads, red-legged frogs and steelhead trout, all endangered species. 

    Friday 10:30 p.m. The Casitas Municipal Water District in conjunction with the Drinking Water Division of the State Water Resources Control Board is canceling boil advisories for tap water in the Upper Ojai, Foster Park and Casitas Springs areas. Boil notices for beach communities between Ventura and the Santa Barbara County line are still in effect. City of Ventura boil water notice will remain in effect until the city makes an official announcement to cancel its order.

    Friday 10:11 p.m. Idaho firefighters from Boise, Meridian, Kuna and Star are coming to help battle Southern California's blazes. News of the fires drew empathy from so many of firefighters from the Boise Fire Department, Capt. Brian Ashton said they had to turn some down. Capt. T.J. Lawrence with the Kuna Fire Department said: "It kinda pulls at your heart strings to see all the havoc running and all the carnage going on down there. It's a very overwhelming need for us to go help, you know, to make sure everyone can stay as safe as they can and save as much property and lives as possible." The firefighters will be in Southern California for the next two weeks.

    Friday 8:46 p.m. A community meeting will be held for Ventura residents directly affected by the Thomas Fire at noon Saturday in the auditorium of Buena High School, 5670 Telegraph Road. A live feed will be provided on cable channels 15 and 6 and at capsmedia.org. Residents will receive an update on the fire and hear from officials regarding public health, debris removal, housing and other human services. Representatives from city and county agencies, utility companies, the Red Cross and Ventura Unified School District will also answer questions.

    Friday 8:07 p.m. Ventura County helicopters get ready to make nighttime water drops. 

    Friday 7:40 p.m. The curfew in Ventura has been amended to only include the mandatory evacuation areas of: North of Foothill Road between Kimball Road on the East and Day Road on the West. These neighborhoods include Clear Point, Skyline, Hidden Valley and Ondulando. 

    The curfew there is in effect 24/7 but two residents per household will be able to go into their homes for 15 minutes on Saturday and Sunday. They will be escorted in between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to grab necessities. Check-in for the escorts will be in the parking lot of Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road. 

    Friday 6 p.m. Officials said at a briefing that the Thomas Fire has grown to 143,000 acres and is 10 percent contained. They said 24 helicopters are working on fighting the fire (three of which are night-flying copters). On Friday, six airplanes were working the fire, including a converted 747. Officials said that by Saturday, 4,000 firefighters are expected to be involved in the effort, which has cost $17 million so far.

    They said at least 532 structures have been destroyed in the fire. Here's a breakdown of the known toll on buildings:

    • Ventura: 458 single-family homes destroyed, 104 damaged; 26 other buildings destroyed and six damaged.
    • Unincorporated areas: 18 single-family homes destroyed, four damaged; 30 nonresidential structures destroyed, and four receiving some level of damage.

    Officials said assessment is still being done in other communities.

    Officials cited success in the eastern portion of the fire, saying they have "turned the corner" in that area. The fire is still moving to the north due to terrain. 

    Friday 3:53 p.m. Hospitals across Southern California report that high numbers of patients caused by this week’s wildfires are visiting emergency rooms with breathing problems. Health officials in Ventura, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties warned of high pollution levels caused by smoke. The microscopic particles in smoke can penetrate deep into the lungs, creating a hazard for those who already have heart or lung problems such as asthma, emphysema or COPD.

    Friday 3:05 p.m. The first fatality of the Thomas Fire has been confirmed. The body of a woman found in Wheeler Canyon on Wednesday night has been identified as Virginia Pesola, 70, of Santa Paula. “This tragic death is the only confirmed fire-related death in Ventura County to date,” said Ventura County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Young. “After evacuation of Wheeler Canyon, a missing person was reported. Human remains were identified at a vehicular crash site along the evacuation route. The Medical Examiner’s Office has circumstantially identified this individual as Virginia Pesola. The death involved a traffic incident during active fire evacuation. The cause of death is blunt force injuries with terminal smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.” The incident is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol and the sheriff’s major crimes unit.

    Friday 2:55 p.m. At a briefing today, crews battling the Thomas Fire – many of them sent from far away to offer assistance here – were reminded to be sensitive of residents who were returning to destroyed homes. “Treat them like you would treat your community,” they were told.

    Friday 2:45 p.m. The dry, gusty winds that have fanned wildfires in Southern California will continue through next week, the National Weather Service said. A red-flag warning remains in effect, said meteorologist Tom Fisher. “Monday and Tuesday, things should be kind of dull, fortunately,” Fisher said. The wind speeds expected Friday are a far cry from the hurricane-force gusts that drove a wall of fire into Ventura on Monday night.

    Friday 2:36 p.m. President Donald Trump this morning approved a California disaster declaration, ordering federal aid to the area and putting the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of disaster relief efforts.

    Friday 2:25 p.m. More than 100 minimum-security inmates from prison camps in Nevada are being deployed to Ventura County to help fight the Thomas Fire, The Associated Press reports. Nevada Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda says the camp officers and inmate firefighters are trained and prepared to do the job. The six crews are made up of 126 inmates.

    Friday 2 p.m. Ojai officials said it was a “miracle” that fierce Santa Ana winds subsided Thursday as firefighters battled wildfires that encircled the mountain community. “The fire burned hard overnight on slopes about four miles north of town,” said Rudy Livingston, Ojai’s finance director. “But fire crews with bulldozers and fire engines … were able to reduce fuel, calm the flames and keep them from coming downhill into town. It was truly a miracle that the predicted fierce winds failed to materialize — we were waiting for them, but they didn’t come,” he said. “All I can say is, ‘Thank God.’ If they had come, it would have been very ugly here.”

    Friday 1:30 p.m.: The Fillmore evacuation center was closed around 1:30 p.m. and the city was not under any evacuation orders. Charles Esseling, a Cal Fire spokesman, said the eastern flank of the fire was a focus point for the fight on Friday with several air units making water drops. The winds have died down but are more unpredictable, Esseling said, adding that wind directions were subject to sudden shifts.

    Friday 9:30 a.m.: Ventura County Fire Department officials said the fire continued its march toward Santa Barbara County and Fillmore. The blaze is threatening portions of Carpinteria as well as the Sespe Wilderness and Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Fillmore city officials said residents should check the city's Twitter account, @CityFillmore, for the most updated information regarding evacuations.

    Friday 6:15 a.m.: The fire grew to 132,000 acres overnight and is now 10 percent contained.

    Friday 1:45 a.m. Santa Ana winds continued to blow overnight throughout Ventura County. Wind speeds were expected to average 15-30 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, according to forecast information from the National Weather Service. By Friday evening, winds are expected to drop to around 15 mph. However, winds remain in the forecast through Saturday night, along with single-digit relative humidity and above-average temperatures, leading the National Weather Service to extend its red-flag fire warning for the county through Sunday.

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Thomas Fire reaches Santa Barbara County | 0:41

    The Thomas Fire crossed into Santa Barbara County on Sunday and grew to more than 200,000 acres. Yazmin Cruz

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Volunteer program providing healthy meals to families displaced by Thomas Fire | 0:49

    World Central Kitchen's Thomas Fire program is creating healthy meals for displaced families throughout the region. The program is accepting volunteers. TYLER HERSKO/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Family returns to see what's left of home after Thomas Fire | 1:28

    The Ondulando neighborhood was especially hard hit by the Thomas Fire last week. DANIEL DREIFUSS/SPECIAL TO THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Camarillo Animal Shelter stretched by Thomas Fire | 2:33

    The Camarillo Animal Shelter has opened its doors to more than 400 animals for "safekeeping" during the Thomas Fire, including dogs, cats, horses, ponies, chickens, quail, emu and other species. Video by Joe Curley. Joe Curley/The Star

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Governor sees Ventura's fire devastation firsthand | 2:30

    Gov. Jerry Brown visits the area of Ventura burned in the Thomas Fire and speaks at a news conference. CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS 'I never expected any fire like this,' 84-year-old says | 1:19

    Albert Karian and his family sifted through the rubble of the retirement home he built in 1989 on Sunday. The home was destroyed in the Thomas Fire. DANIEL DREIFUSS/SPECIAL TO THE STAR

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    Those who have been affected by the Thomas Fire share their stories. TOM KISKEN/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Tracking the intensity of the Thomas Fire | 1:20

    David Clark with Cal Fire explains the progression of the Thomas Fire's intensity. Steve Byerly

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Community north of Ojai in ashes from Thomas fire | 1:33

    Homes in the Camino Cielo community, north of Ojai on Highway 33, are left in ashes after the Thomas Fire devastated the area. JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Firefighters conduct cleanup near Casitas Vista | 0:37

    After the Thomas fire swept through Casitas Vista and surrounding communities on Wednesday and Thursday, firefighters work to clear brush and debris. JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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    Wildfires continue to destroy land and homes in Southern California. Months of dry conditions and whipping Santa Ana winds have created the perfect equation for devastation. USA TODAY

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    More than 20 water-dropping helicopters are based at the airport, which says it's happy to accommodate them until the disastrous fie is extinguished. Wochit

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Chickens cluck through ashes of the Thomas Fire | 1:02

    Chickens roam through Camino Cielo properties ravaged by the Thomas Fire. JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Thomas Fire scorches Shell Road and Hwy 33 | 0:35

    Late in the fourth day of the Thomas Fire, tall flames towered over Shell Road near Highway 33 on Thursday. JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

    14 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Camp Bartlett cabins leveled by Thomas Fire | 1:21

    Residents of Camp Bartlett, a small mountain community near Santa Paula, return after the Thomas fire swept through the area to discover many of the cabins destroyed. RICHARD LUI/USA TODAY NETWORK

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Ventura family returns to home destroyed by Thomas Fire | 2:27

    A Ventura family returned to their home on Briarwood Terrace to find their belongings in ashes on Thursday after the Thomas Fire devastated the area. CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS In Ojai area, Thomas Fire takes its toll | 1:04

    Karin Dron, who lives at Gridley Road, was able to save her house, which is made of stone. Her house was built in 1932. She lost one small office space. JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Flames reduce these Ventura homes to slabs | 1:37

    Two days after the Thomas Fire burned through Ventura, footage shows what Via Ondulando looks like. RICHARD LUI/USA TODAY NETWORK

    18 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Highway travel disrupted by Calif. wildfire | 1:52

    Authorities closed a major freeway Thursday as flames from the Southern California wildfire jumped lanes and threatened beach front homes. (Dec. 7) AP

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Raw: Biggest California fire burns 180 Sq. miles | 0:55

    The massive wildfire in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, grew to 180 square miles and destroyed more than 400 buildings by late Thursday. It's forcing the evacuation of communities between Ventura and Santa Barbara. (Dec. 8) AP

    20 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Man rescues rabbit from California wildfire | 0:37

    One brave man has become a viral hero after witnesses captured him coming extremely close to danger himself while rescuing a rabbit from the wildfires ravaging California Time

    21 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS How Pacifica High School is helping fire victims | 1:08

    Volunteers worked at Pacifica High School in Oxnard Thursday to organize and hand out donations to victims of the Thomas Fire. Alexa D'Angelo

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Santa Paula woman describes losing home to Thomas Fire | 1:07

    A family in Santa Paula was among those whose homes were lost to the massive fire that started Monday night in the hills near Thomas Aquinas College. RICHARD LUI/USA TODAY NETWORK

    23 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Thomas Fire burns along 101 at Faria Beach | 0:47

    Threatening traffic and homes along the Ventura County Coast, the Thomas Fire continues its spread along Highway 101 near Faria Beach on Wednesday.

    24 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Home spared from fire, surrounded by destruction | 1:07

    A Santa Paula canyon resident and his family returned to their home on Wednesday expecting to find a pile of ash, but instead find their home spared from the massive Thomas Fire and surrounded by devastation. JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS See the Thomas Fire at Highway 101 and Solimar Beach | 0:57

    The Thomas Fire continues at the 101 Freeway and Solimar Beach. JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

    26 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Wildfires blazing in SoCal seen from plane | 0:36

    Billows of smoke in the air are seen outside a plane's widow. The captain of the flight told everyone to take their seats and prepare for turbulence caused by the Santa Ana winds. USA TODAY

    27 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Thomas Fire sends air quality downward in county | 1:01

    Fire watchers debate air quality as well as the use of masks. TOM KISKEN/THE STAR

    28 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Rams' Hekker delivers for Thomas Fire shelter | 1:58

    Los Angeles Rams star Johnny Hekker delivered to the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, bringing needed items to Ventura County residents displaced by the Thomas Fire. Video by Joe Curley. Joe Curley/The Star

    29 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS How insurance is helping Thomas Fire victims | 1:26

    The Thomas Fire has damaged or destroyed many homes in Ventura County. Homeowners note that insurance has proved to be a financial lifesaver. TYLER HERSKO/THE STAR

    30 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Vista del Mar Hospital Burns | 0:35

    The Thomas fire destroyed buildings at the Ventura behavioral health hospital.

    31 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Thomas Fire continues destruction in Ventura | 1:54

    The Thomas Fire continued its destructive path through Ventura on Tuesday, growing to 45,000 acres and leveling hundreds of homes along Hillcrest and Foothill drives. JUAN CARLO/THE STAR

    32 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS The Thomas Fire: Day of destruction in Ventura | 1:26

    Flames of the Thomas Fire left a path of destruction in Ventura after racing to the city from the Santa Paula area. Steve Byerly

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS The Thomas Fire: Q&A with Capt. Stan Ziegler | 2:04

    The Star's Megan Diskin interviewed Venture County Fire Department Capt. Stan Ziegler about the Thomas Fire. Here's what he said.

    34 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Raw: Wildfires rage in Ventura County, Calif. | 1:16

    Wildfires in Southern California have triggered evacuation orders for nearly 200,000 people and destroyed hundreds of homes. The fires remain mostly out of control. (Dec. 6) AP

    35 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Powerful winds boost California fire danger | 1:00

    Southern California officials are warning of unprecedented dangerous winds on Thursday, with gusts possibly reaching 80 mph. The region is dealing with several massive wildfires that have around 200,000 under evacuation orders. (Dec. 7) AP

    36 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Thomas Fire: Aerial video of Ventura infernos | 2:39

    Here is aerial footage of the Thomas Fire's destruction in Ventura on Dec. 5, 2017. Wochit

    37 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Displaced families, pets flock to fairgrounds during massive fire | 1:01

    Scores of displaced families people and their pets arrived at the Ventura County fairgrounds on Tuesday in the wake of the massive Thomas Fire that has swept through the area destroying homes. CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR

    38 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS People, animals flee California wildfire | 1:29

    Nearly 200,000 people have been told to evacuate from three massive wildfires in southern California. Many people fleeing the flames are bringing along their animals. (Dec. 6) AP

    39 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Wildfires destroy homes across southern Calif. | 2:21

    Wildfires driven by winds approaching hurricane force swept across Southern California Monday night into Tuesday, scorching thousands of acres and destroying hundreds of structures - from Ventura County to communities north of Los Angeles. (Dec. 5) AP

    40 of 44

    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Thomas Fire destroys homes in Ventura overnight | 1:26

    Propelled by strong Santa Ana winds, the Thomas Fire swept through the Ventura, California, foothills destroying several homes and forcing mandatory evacuations. CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Thomas Fire threatens homes in Santa Paula hills | 0:57

    The Thomas Fire burns across several hillsides along Highway 150 near Santa Paula late Monday, threatening several neighborhoods. ANTHONY PLASCENCIA/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Authorities give first update on Thomas Fire | 4:46

    Officials hold a late night press conference on the progression and dangers of the Thomas Fire, which started near Santa Paula and quickly spread to Ventura and parts of the Los Padres Forest on Monday night. MEGAN DISKIN/THE STAR

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    PLAYLIST: ALL OUR THOMAS FIRE VIDEOS Crews battle fast-moving fire near Santa Paula | 0:53

    Crews are fighting a brush fire burning near Steckel Park outside of Santa Paula. Yazmin Cruz

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    Last VideoNext Video

    • Thomas Fire reaches Santa Barbara County

    • Volunteer program providing healthy meals to families displaced by Thomas Fire

    • Family returns to see what's left of home after Thomas Fire

    • Camarillo Animal Shelter stretched by Thomas Fire

    • Governor sees Ventura's fire devastation firsthand

    • 'I never expected any fire like this,' 84-year-old says

    • Enduring the ravages of the Thomas Fire

    • Tracking the intensity of the Thomas Fire

    • Community north of Ojai in ashes from Thomas fire

    • Firefighters conduct cleanup near Casitas Vista

    • Fire and smoke dominate Southern California skylines

    • Santa Paula Airport transformed for fire effort

    • Chickens cluck through ashes of the Thomas Fire

    • Thomas Fire scorches Shell Road and Hwy 33

    • Camp Bartlett cabins leveled by Thomas Fire

    • Ventura family returns to home destroyed by Thomas Fire

    • In Ojai area, Thomas Fire takes its toll

    • Flames reduce these Ventura homes to slabs

    • Highway travel disrupted by Calif. wildfire

    • Raw: Biggest California fire burns 180 Sq. miles

    • Man rescues rabbit from California wildfire

    • How Pacifica High School is helping fire victims

    • Santa Paula woman describes losing home to Thomas Fire

    • Thomas Fire burns along 101 at Faria Beach

    • Home spared from fire, surrounded by destruction

    • See the Thomas Fire at Highway 101 and Solimar Beach

    • Wildfires blazing in SoCal seen from plane

    • Thomas Fire sends air quality downward in county

    • Rams' Hekker delivers for Thomas Fire shelter

    • How insurance is helping Thomas Fire victims

    • Vista del Mar Hospital Burns

    • Thomas Fire continues destruction in Ventura

    • The Thomas Fire: Day of destruction in Ventura

    • The Thomas Fire: Q&A with Capt. Stan Ziegler

    • Raw: Wildfires rage in Ventura County, Calif.

    • Powerful winds boost California fire danger

    • Thomas Fire: Aerial video of Ventura infernos

    • Displaced families, pets flock to fairgrounds during massive fire

    • People, animals flee California wildfire

    • Wildfires destroy homes across southern Calif.

    • Thomas Fire destroys homes in Ventura overnight

    • Thomas Fire threatens homes in Santa Paula hills

    • Authorities give first update on Thomas Fire

    • Crews battle fast-moving fire near Santa Paula

    Thursday

    Thursday 11:55 p.m. The situation tonight in Ojai was much less dire than it was 24 hours earlier. Boccali's was verified as still standing, although things were dark, and a worker at the Thacher School said the campus was OK. A big cloud of smoke was visible to the west, but much less flame was visible from downtown. Firefighters were doing some backburning at Soule Park, where the mood was jovial as crews dictated the terms of the fire, although there was a large amount of smoke.

    Thursday 11 p.m. The Associated Press reports that the fire risk in the past 24 hours led to an unprecedented text warning going out to 12 million Californian. The warning told recipients to be ready for extreme fire potential early Thursday, although conditions turned out to be less dire than predicted. The state Office of Emergency Services erred on the side of caution because conditions were similar to those that led to 44 deaths in wind-whipped fires that broke out across Northern California on Oct. 8. Many residents of the Northern California fire zones have complained they did not receive alerts, and their lawmakers are introducing legislation to establish statewide emergency alert protocols and require all counties to adopt up-to-date systems with operators trained to implement evacuations.

    Thursday 10 p.m. The California Highway Patrol has closed Old Telegraph Road in Fillmore from C Street to Keith Road.

    Thursday 9 p.m. CSU Channel Islands' Goleta campus has canceled classes and activities until Monday due to poor air quality because of the Thomas Fire. The Camarillo and Thousand Oaks campuses will still have classes.

    Thursday 8:30 p.m. New mandatory and voluntary evacuations have been ordered by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office along Highway 126 and Fillmore.

    A mandatory evacuation is ordered for all residents living east of Hall Road to Sespe Creek and north from Highway 126 to Los Padres National Forest.

    A voluntary evacuation is ordered for all residents living from east of Sespe Creek to Burson Ranch, and from Fillmore city to Los Padres National Forest.

    Deputies recommend evacuees from this area head to the nearest evacuation shelter at the Santa Paula Community Center, located at 530 West Main St.

    Thursday 7:30 p.m.  Flames swept over the hills near Foster Park late Thursday afternoon as the Thomas Fire made a run over a ridge and toward Lake Casitas.

    CalFire crews cut trees and brush along Casitas Vista Road preparing for the fire to creep downhill.

    The plan was to keep the fire from spotting across the road, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Guy Horton. Other engine crews were stationed near homes on the other side of Casitas Vista.

    Johnny Kimmis rents a home there on Camp Chaffee Road. He stayed when others on his street heeded the mandatory evacuation order.

    Kimmis said he had exit routes planned and had talked to the firefighters, but wanted to try to give the homes a little more protection.

    He had a friend who got him a proper hose, and he and his boss, who volunteered to help, started soaking everyone's roof and any nearby trees on the street.

    "I don't wait around for people to save me," he said. 

    Thursday 6:15 p.m. Officials say at daily official fire update that at least 439 structures have been destroyed and the fire covers 115,000 acres.

    Thursday 7:04 p.m. Acreage of the fire is at 115,00 acres but containment continues to be 5 percent. There have been 439 structures destroyed and 85 structures damaged. Santa Ana winds are expected to weaken but a red-flag warning remains through Sunday evening.

    Thursday 1:39 p.m. There are new voluntary evacuations in Ventura and Ojai.

    In Ventura, voluntary evacuations are called for North Hill Road east to Wells Road and Telegraph Road to Foothill Road.

    In Ojai, the voluntary evacuations are Casitas Pass Road east to Highway 33 and Spring Street to Loma Drive. That includes Rice Road east to Loma Drive; Baldwin Road north to Besant Road.

    Thursday 12:37 p.m. The train tracks are now closed from Faria Beach to Carpinteria.

    Thursday 12:31 p.m. There are currently no Amtrak services in Ventura County. Train tracks are closed from the Ventura County Fairgrounds to Bates Road.

    Thursday 12:18 p.m. Hwy 101 closures lifted but CalTrans officials warn that the freeway between Ventura and Santa Barbara will have intermittent lane closures due to the active fire. 

    Thursday 11:40 a.m. Faria Beach: Downed power lines across Highway 101 have stopped traffic in both directions, CHP confirmed. The incident was reported about 11 a.m. Cars may resume driving once the power lines are cut and cleared from the roadway.

    Thursday 11:34 a.m. Authorities continue to monitor the Rye Fire in Santa Clarita, which is holding steady north of Simi Valley. The fire is not considered a threat to Simi Valley and Moorpark. Over night, the blaze stayed within containment lines.

    Thursday 10:38 a.m. The fire is headed toward Carpinteria, according to Sgt. Tim Lohman of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. Another problematic area is north of Ojai.

    Thursday 10 a.m. Ojai: There was no wind and no visible fire near the Manor of Ojai assisted and independent living center, reported Dan Feeney, administrator of the facility on Ojai’s Eucalyptus Street. At about 10 p.m. Wednesday, Feeney decided the fire was “uncomfortably close” and it was time to evacuate. A dozen of the facility’s residents were evacuated in staff members’ personal vehicles to a shelter at the Oxnard College gymnasium.

    Other people chose to go and stay with families. “I felt I didn’t want me and my people to be part of the problem,” said Feeney of evacuating, also complaining about the lack of information regarding the fire. On Thursday, Feeney was trying to figure out next steps “I’m waiting here to get off the phone with you to inspect it,” he said of the building.

    Thursday 8:08 a.m. Officials at Ojai Valley Community Hospital reported that many of the patients at the hospital and skilled nursing home were transferred about midnight Wednesday. In a tweet, officials said 48 people were transferred to their sister facility, Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura. They were resting comfortably. All patients were moved from the Ojai hospital’s skilled nursing facility and 27 people remain in the Ojai hospital.

    More: Containment hopes elusive for Thomas Fire as winds strengthen, pose more challenges

    Thursday 8 a.m. Caltrans reported Highway 33 from Villanova Road to Highway 150 in the Ojai Valley has reopened.

    Thursday 7:50 a.m. Firefighters were in La Conchita Thursday morning where one abandoned structure had burned. "We are calling this a success," said Rich Macklin, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department. The fire crept up a hillside behind the beach community in northern Ventura County about 2 a.m. was burning east of La Conchita Thursday morning. The community was under a mandatory evacuation order that went into effect Wednesday. 

    Thursday 7:15 a.m. The California Highway Patrol has reopened Highway 101 between Ventura and Carpinteria. The highway is open in both directions with motorists being escorted by the CHP.

    Thursday 7:08 a.m. Acreage for the fire has increased to 96,000 and it is 5 percent contained, according to Ventura County Fire Department. There are 2,500 personnel currently battling the fire. According to CalFire, 15,000 structures are threatened.

    Thursday 4 a.m. Santa Barbara officials confirmed the mandatory evacuation of approximately 300 residents near the Rincon Point area of Carpinteria. Evacuations were issued to residents along Bates Road, Camino Carreta, Rincon Point Road, Rincon Point Lane, Buena Fortuna, and Rincon Hill Road.

    Highway 101 remained closed from Highway 126 in Ventura to Highway 150 in Carpinteria.

    More: How did Thomas Fire start? Investigation of cause for Ventura County fire could take time

    Thursday 3:30 a.m. Railroad traffic is being shut down between the Ventura Amtrak station and Bates Road. Smoke was expected to clear enough by 4 a.m. for traffic to resume.

    Thursday 3 a.m. A firefighter at Rincon Mountain Parkway and Casitas Pass Road needed medical assistance due to chest pains. An ambulance was requested. 

    Thursday 2 a.m. The California Highway Patrol is shutting down both directions of Highway 101 in the Ventura area between Highway 33 and Bates Road. Visibility is low due to smoke, and the fire is burning in the median. At one point, it was reported to have crossed the highway. Traffic is being diverted at the State Beaches exit on the northbound side and at Bates Road on the southbound side. Almost as soon as this closure was ordered, the 101 was reported impassable north of La Conchita and a shutdown was requested as far north as Highway 150 on the edge of Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County.

    Thursday 2 a.m. A mandatory evacuation order has been placed on the area west of Highway 33 and north of West El Roblar Drive in the unincorporated Ojai Valley community of Meiners Oaks, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

    Thursday 1:15 a.m.  La Conchita, a small unincorporated community along the coast north of Ventura, has been issued an urgent mandatory evacuation as the fire threatens to encroach. The community was already under a mandate to evacuate, but crews said it was important to reinforce that.

    More: Near the origin of the Ventura County fire, a family waits to learn the fate of their home

    Thursday 12:23 a.m. Authorities requested shutdown of power lines near Fairview Road and Highway 33 because of flames.  

    Thursday 12:20 a.m. The California Highway Patrol is assessing a possible closure of northbound Highway 101 in Ventura from Main Street to Seacliff due to smoke on the roadway.

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