150-Square-Mile Thomas Fire in Ventura County Fanned by Santa Ana Winds

KTLA | 12/7/2017 | Anthony Kurzweil
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This is a developing wildfire story. Please check back frequently for updates.

As evacuation orders continue to expand amid the massive Thomas Fire burning in Ventura County, residents trying to flee the danger areas had to work around closures on the 101 Freeway and Highway 150 Thursday morning.

Fire - Acres - Miles - Percent - Fire

The fire has burned 96,000 acres — or about 150 square miles — and is just 5 percent contained, fire officials tweeted Thursday morning.

The 101 Freeway was temporarily shut down to all northbound traffic at State Route 126, and to all southbound traffic beginning at Bates Road, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office stated in a news release early Thursday morning.

State - Route - Carpentaria - Ojai - Evacuation

State Route 150 was also closed between Carpentaria and Ojai, where mandatory evacuation orders were issued for some areas Wednesday night.

The 101 was later reopened in both directions with escorts being provided, the California Highway Patrol tweeted just after 7 a.m.

Fire - Spread - Santa - Ana - Winds

The fire spread overnight due to strong Santa Ana winds and grew significantly north of the City of Ojai, according to CalFire.

The fire was also moving north toward the Santa Barbara County line and Lake Casitas, as well as toward the Los Padres National Forest and Sespe Wilderness, CalFire stated.

Firefighters - La - Conchita - Homes - Flare

Firefighters in La Conchita managed to save several homes from a flare up Thursday morning, Ventura County Fire Department Public Information Officer Rich Macklin said.

“We saved about six homes,” said Macklin, who described the firefight in that area as a success. Only one abandoned structure was lost.

La - Conchita - Homes - Hours - Burn

The La Conchita homes were threatened hours after the main burn rolled through the area about 1 a.m., Macklin said.

Authorities made a grim discovery in Wheeler Canyon when they...
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