Thomas Fire grows to 143,000 acres, remains 10 percent contained - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Thomas Fire grows to 143,000 acres, remains 10 percent contained

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UPDATE (1:00 a.m.)

UPDATE (10:00 p.m.) 

UPDATE (6:05 p.m.) - Fire officials say the Thomas Fire has grown to 143,000 acres and remains 10 percent contained as of Friday evening.

At a press briefing Friday evening, fire officials said they had a successful day on the fire lines and were excited about the progress made that day.

Officials said they "turned a corner" in the area above Fillmore where there had been significant fire behavior. Retardant and water drops from fixed-wing aircraft reportedly helped reduce the fire activity there. They were also able to get crews into the northern area of the fire where flames have moved into the Los Padres National Forest. The fire there continues to move north, but mostly because of the steep terrain rather than the wind. 

The west side of the fire remained active Friday, but fire officials said that activity was decreased compared to previous days and a firing operation conducted near Lake Casitas went well. More backfiring operations were conducted in the Ojai area and firefighters report good progress there.

Fire officials said the Carpinteria area remains at risk but structure defense is in place and firefighters have been working to establish contingency lines around the community.

In the southeast area of the fire, in the communities of Ventura and Santa Paula, many evacuation orders have been lifted but firefighters will remain in the area for some time to make sure residents are safe as they return home.

Fire officials said the fire transitioned Friday from a wind-driven fire to a fuel-driven fire. Still, they said winds will continue to be an issue over the next few days and temperatures will remain above average.
There are 3,874 fire personnel currently assigned to the Thomas Fire and more resources are expected.

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.) - Some evacuation orders and warnings related to the Thomas Fire have been lifted in the cities of Ventura and Santa Paula. 

In Ventura, evacuation orders remain only for the area north of W. Main Street and east of Highway 33, commonly known as Ventura Avenue, and all neighborhoods north of Poli and Foothill Road.

In Santa Paula, all evacuation orders for the areas north of Highway 126 from the west end of the city east to Willard Road and north to Bridge Road have been lifted.

In the unincorporated areas of Ventura County, all evacuation orders have been lifted north of Foothill Road from Santa Paula to Ventura.

Fire officials say 87,043 people have been evacuated since the start of the fire on Monday.

A public information hotline has been established for the Thomas Fire. For updates, call (805) 465-6650.

UPDATE (2:20 p.m.) - Santa Barbara County has released an interactive map of the Thomas Fire evacuation areas. 

The sections in red are under evacuation orders while the yellow section is under an evacuation warning. You can search your address to see if your home falls in one of the affected areas.

UPDATE (11:30 a.m.) - Santa Barbara County has received a Fire Management Assistance Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with the fight against the 132,000-acre Thomas Fire.

The fire, which started in Ventura County, is pushing northwest and has caused the evacuation of hundreds of people in the Carpinteria area.

County officials say the grant will allow additional mutual aid support of current state and local resources.

On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency in Santa Barbara County due to the fire. The declaration helps facilitate state funding to support the firefight.

He previously declared a State of Emergency in Ventura County, where the fire has destroyed more than 400 structures.

Fifteen-thousand structures remain threatened. The fire, which broke out on the evening of Dec. 4, is just 10 percent contained. 

Click here to see a map of the perimeter of the fire as of Friday morning.

Fire crews have gained more control on the Thomas Fire as it has increased to 10 percent with 132,000 acres Friday morning.

The  Ventura County public information officer tweeted the information just before 6:30 a.m.

To find out the latest details on evacuations and closures, head to this link

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