Fire efforts improve one week after start of Thomas Fire

Posted at 3:04 AM, Dec 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-12 05:04:53-05

Fire crews continue to fight the Thomas Fire one week after it ignited in Ventura County. 

Officials say the fire has grown to 231,700 acres and is about 20 percent contained. That number could change by mid-Tuesday morning after crews re-assess the fire map.

Firefighters say Monday was a more successful day with the amount of fire efforts — such as extra air tankers, controlled burns and creating better containment lines — they were able to carry out. 

As of 1 a.m., some fire efforts seemed a bit unnerving, such as these high flames on the hills above CarpinteriaHigh School, but fire crews say the fire behavior is cooperating. 

Overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning, fire crews will be maintaining structure protection efforts throughout Carpinteria and where there are evacuation orders in effect

The air quality is still on the unhealthy or hazardous side for various areas close to the wildfire. 

Residents in Santa Barbara County are urged to wear certified N-95 masks if they are doing any sort of activity outside. 

"I don’t think there is anyone who shouldn’t be wearing a mask at this point, given where the air quality is right now, how unhealthy it is," said Richard Belkin, M.D., a lung specialist. "Everyone in the community should be wearing masks when they are outdoors."

There are some schools that closed Monday that will be open Tuesday. Some will be closed throughout the week. You can find that list here

This story will be updated throughout the day with new information from fire officials on the Thomas Fire.