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Raging Thomas Fire Triggers New Evacuation Orders For Montecito, Carpinteria

VENTURA (CBSLA) — The raging Thomas Fire -- now the 5th largest brush fire in California history -- triggered new evacuation orders Sunday for the Ventura-Santa Barbara county lines, authorities said.

Overnight, new orders were sent out for the Carpinteria and Montecito areas after another structure was lost.

Residents in areas north of Carpinteria from Toro Canyon Road east to the Santa Barbara County line and north of Highway 192 have been told to evacuate as well as areas east of Buena Vista Drive to the county line and north of Highway 192.

Voluntary evacuation orders have been issued for areas east of San Ysidro to the county line, and south of Highway 192 to the ocean.

Authorities said an evacuation shelter has been established at the UCSD Recreation Center at 516 Ocean Road. For animal evacuations, residents in Santa Barbara County are asked to call  (805) 681-4332.

The fire, which has now scorched 239,000 acres, has also interrupted transmission lines for the Santa Barbara area, leaving more than 85,000 customers without power. The fire was 10 percent contained, as of 7 p.m. Sunday.

Officials at a Sunday evening news conference said 790 structures were destroyed. More than 18,000 structures are threatened.

Mandatory evacuations were added for Mission Cyn Road to Hot Springs Road and East Camino Cielo to Hwy 192.

For residents unsure if they are in voluntary or mandatory evacuation areas, officials said to consult the Santa Barbara County's website.

The fire erupted seven days ago and resulted in 88,000 people having to evacuate throughout that time period. In all, 537 structures have been destroyed and another 118 structures were damaged.

"This fire literally started on the first day of our Santa Ana wind event, which it couldn't have started on a worse day," said Capt. Steve Kaufmann of the Ventura County Fire Department. "Last night, because we're still under the Santa Ana wind event, the fire activity increased overnight."

Kaufmann said the fire "blew up" very aggressively overnight into Santa Barbara County.

"If you're sitting on the 101 right now and you look up at the Camino Cielo ridgetop, you're going to be able to see fire that's crested the ridgetop that looks like it's heading down towards Montecito, Carpinteria, Summerland," he said.

The CalFire website has the latest evacuation information for the Thomas Fire.

An upwards of 4,000 firefighters have been deployed to the firefight.

"Please heed our warnings: the time for people to evacuate is not when we are trying to get our fire engines into the neighborhoods so if we do do an evacuation order, please make sure that you get out as soon as you can," he said.

Authorities said many Ventura County school districts are planning to be open Monday, while others affected by the fire are not. Below is the most current information:

School Closures
(credit: Ventura County Office of Education)


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