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Thomas Fire crews building contingency line around Carpinteria - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Thomas Fire crews building contingency line around Carpinteria

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Santa Ana winds died down Friday night, turning the Thomas Fire from a wind-driven blaze heading toward Santa Barbara County to a fuel-driven one in the forest, but that didn't keep firefighters from carrying out a plan to protect Carpinteria should the winds pick up again.

"There is a contingency area that we do have in Carpinteria area, mitigating this and getting ahead of the fire in case that were to be an issue and progress farther west," said Brad Bihun, a public information officer for the Thomas Fire.

The fire had not crossed into Santa Barbara County as of Friday. It was more active in the northern area of the fire zone, burning Los Padres National Forest land and causing landslides over roads firefighters were using to get into the rugged backcountry.

CAL FIRE personnel working along the border with Ventura County hoped to keep the fire in that county.

"We have personnel and engines and crews in this area building fire lines, building dozer lines in case - as a contingency," Bihun explained. "We are ahead of the fire and can mitigate the situation prior to it coming to that area."

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

Interactive map of Santa Barbara County evacuation zones:

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