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Containment of Thomas fire climbs to 86 percent - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Containment of Thomas fire climbs to 86 percent

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(Courtesy: Stuart Palley for U.S. Forest Service) (Courtesy: Stuart Palley for U.S. Forest Service)

Update (7:10 p.m.)- CAL FIRE officials tweeted Sunday night that containment numbers have climbed to 86 percent.


Update (10:50 p.m.) -CAL FIRE officials say the Thomas Fire is now 70 percent contained. Acreage remains at 273,400. The decrease in containment was due to a typo. 


Update (5:50 p.m.) - The Thomas fire has now burned 273,400 acres, making it the largest wildfire in recorded California history, according to Cal Fire San Luis Obispo Chief Scott Jalbert.


Update (4:25 p.m.) - The American Red Cross  says it will not open a new shelter at Goleta Valley Junior High.


Update (11:00 a.m.) - An air quality warning that has been in place for portions of Santa Barbara County for several days now has been downgraded to an air quality watch.


Update (9:30 a.m.) - Those impacted by the Thomas Fire won't have to worry about paying DMV fees to have documents replaced that might have been lost in the Thomas Fire. 

Gov. Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation authorizing fee and/or penalty waivers for wildfire victims in Santa Barbara County. 

Wildfire victims can take advantage of the free DMV services Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Local Assistance Center at Carpinteria Community Church at 1111 Vallecito Road, Carpinteria.

Here's a list of things the DMV will replace at not cost wildfire victims: 

  • Driver licenses
  • ID cards
  • Vehicle registration and title
  • Disabled placards
  • Substitute license plates and stickers
  • Vehicle disposal paperwork
  • Driver record printouts
  • Process a change of address

These services are also available at local DMV locations. 

For assistance with DMV-related business, call the DMV customer service center at 1-800-777-0133 or visit www.dmv.ca.gov.


Update (9:25 a.m.) - Residents are asked to pick up any pets they took to animal evacuation shelters during the Thomas Fire. 

Now that all evacuation orders have been lifted, pet owners must pick up their pets by today, Friday, December 22. 

Thousands of animals have been temporarily cared for at the Santa Barbara Humane Society, Earl Warren Showgrounds, El Capitan Ranch and the Santa Barbara County animals shelters. 

Animal owners should call the following numbers for more details information:

  • Santa Barbara County: 805-681-4332
  • Ventura County: 805-388-4341

Update (9:15 a.m.) - The UCSB evacuation shelter will close Friday as the Thomas Fire winds down. 


The Thomas Fire has burned 272,800 acres as of Friday morning. It is 65 percent contained, according to fire officials. 

Calmer wind conditions have aided firefighting efforts this week. 

More than 4,400 firefighters are still on scene. 

Now that the flames have largely died down, crews have moved into the "mop up" phase. 

Residents are returning home just in time for Christmas after all evacuation orders were lifted Thursday. 

Officials anticipate the fire area will be fully contained by January 7. 

The total cost to fight the Thomas Fire to date is over $174 million. 

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