At mid-day, the 170,000-acre Thomas fire caused evacuation orders for portions of Carpinteria and Montecito, with others nearby cautioned to be prepared to leave if things escalate. Montecito is home to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Drew Barrymore, Jeff Bridges, Ellen DeGeneres, Rob Lowe, Malcolm McDowell, Al Gore, Megyn Price, Eric Schmidt, Jane Seymor and Patrick Stewart. Carpinteria notes such residents as Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, and directors George Lucas and Joel Schumacher.
Our house is under threat of being burned. We just had to evacuate our pets. I’m praying for everyone in our community and thankful to all the incredible firefighters. The live stream is on https://t.co/FTcKVvHO16
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 10, 2017
The area’s low humidity backed by gusting Santa Ana winds pushed the fire overnight from Ventura County into Santa Barbara County. The winds have escalated fires throughout the state, gusting up to 35 mph, according to fire officials.
Carpinteria is in the most danger. The current fire is burning in very dry vegetation, according to Steve Swindle, spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department. The area is estimated not to have burned in nearly 100 years.
Teams of firefighters are being deployed throughout Carpinteria to head off any flames that cross existing fire lines. Some 85,000 customers in the area are currently without power.
The Thomas fire is currently the most problematic of the six wildfires burning in Southern California. Officials reported progress on containing the others. The Thomas fire is about 15 percent contained as of mid-day Sunday.
In Los Angeles County, firefighters continued to battle fires in Sylmar, Santa Clarita and Bel-Air. The Skirball fire near celebrity haven Bel-Air was 75% contained.
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