Massive Wildfire On South Coast Hits 115,000 Acres; Number Of Structures Lost Now Surpasses 400

The massive Thomas brush fire burning on the South Coast took another big jump in size Thursday, going from 96,000 to 115,000 acres. But, perhaps even more stunning is the latest figure for the number of structures lost. Officials have been saying 150 since Tuesday morning, but admitted they haven’t been able to do a complete survey. A just completed update shows that 439 structures were destroyed, with the majority, 427, in the City of Ventura. However, we still don’t know how many of the lost structures were homes.

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California Coast News

One of the big hot spots for Southern California’s 115,000 acre Thomas brush fire yesterday was a tiny beachfront community between Ventura and Santa Barbara which survived the flames not just once, but twice.

Harrison Stroud opened the front door to his beachfront home west of Ventura, and saw 40’ high flames across the highway from the house.

(Photo courtesy NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik)

Some new evacuation orders are in place Thursday night for part of the Fillmore area as a result of potential growth of the Thomas brushfire. Mandatory evacuations have been added for the area encompassed by Hall Road on the west, Sespe Creek on the east, Highway 126 on the south, and Las Padres National Forest on the north. Voluntary evacuations are in place for the area covering Sespe on the west, The City of Fillmore on the south, Burson Ranch on the east, and the Las Padres National Forest to the north.

There are a number of mandatory evacuation orders in place for Santa Barbara County, east of Carpinteria.

NEW: Highway 192 on the south
NEW: Highway 150 on the east
NEW: Casitas Pass Road extending to East Camino Cielo
Eastside 150 from Rincon Hill Road to Highway 101
Bates Road
Camino Carreta
Rincon Pt Road
Rincon Pt. Lane
Buena Fortuna

The massive Thomas brush fire burning on the South Coast took another big jump in size Thursday, going from 96,000 to 115,000 acres.

But, perhaps even more stunning is the latest figure for the number of structures lost. Officials have been saying 150 since Tuesday morning, but admitted they haven’t been able to do a complete survey. A just completed update shows that 439 structures were destroyed, with the majority, 427, in the City of Ventura. However, we still don’t know how many of the lost structures were homes.

Authorities say they’ve discovered a body which could be related to the Thomas fire.

Ventura County firefighters say the body of a woman was recovered from the wreckage of a vehicle in Wheeler Canyon. On Tuesday, Ventura County officials said someone died in a crash while evacuating the fire zone. Details of the circumstances surrounding the death aren’t known, including whether this might be the body of the same person who died earlier in the week.

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Community Resources for the Thomas Fire

A list of resources available to those who have been or may be affected by the Thomas Fire.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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