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US Body found in burn area as Thomas fire spreads along California coast

23:25  07 december  2017
23:25  07 december  2017 Source:   latimes.com

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  Ammunition flies out of burning home, hits reporter Dangers of getting too close to burning home were evident to CBS Los Angeles news crew reporting on wildfireVENTURA, Calif. -- The dangers of getting too close to a burning home were evident to a CBS Los Angeles news crew on Tuesday. Reporter Kara Finnstrom said that photographer Nathan Furniss was hit in the chest by ammunition flying out of a burning home as he approached the structure.

The 96,000-acre Thomas fire burned even further along the coast of Ventura County, prompting LA CONCHITA, CALIFORNIA DECEMBER 7, 2017-A firefighter battles the Thomas Fire in the town Authorities on Thursday said a woman’s body was found in a burn area near Ojai, as firefighters

The Thomas fire , which is just 5% contained, has caused multiple closures of major roads including the 101 Freeway, Highway 33 and Pacific Coast The Thomas fire grew in two directions overnight: Santa Ana winds from the northeast pushed flames toward Carpinteria and the small town of La

LOS ANGELES — Authorities on Thursday said a woman’s body was found in a burn area near Ojai, as firefighters continued to battle several massive wildfires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

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  How to Help the Victims of the California Wildfires Wildfires sweeping through southern California have forced more than 200,000 people to evacuate their homes. Wildfires sweeping through southern California have forced more than 200,000 people to evacuate their homes. The largest blaze, the Thomas fire, has already burned through 90,000 acres, and threatens to spread further as 80-mph winds fan its flames.

Authorities on Thursday said a woman’s body was found in a burn area near Ojai, as firefighters continued to battle several massive wildfires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Scary news of the wildfires in Southern California . Stay safe, my SoCal friends.

The Thomas Fire was a massive wildfire that affected Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, and one of multiple wildfires that ignited in Southern California in December 2017.

The 96,000-acre Thomas fire burned even further along the coast of Ventura County, prompting officials to close a 20-mile stretch of the 101 Freeway between Ventura and Carpinteria overnight. By 7:30 a.m., authorities had reopened the freeway, but provided conflicting details.

The California Highway Patrol said the freeway was open to motorists with a police escort only. However, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department announced that the coastal freeway had been reopened at 7 a.m., but urged motorists to exercise caution and watch out for firefighting equipment in burn areas.

As fire-stoking stoking Santa Ana winds picked up again Thursday morning, authorities extended a regionwide red flag warning to Saturday.

The fire grew in two directions overnight: Santa Ana winds from the northeast pushed flames toward Carpinteria and the small town of La Conchita, but the fire also moved in the opposite direction toward Ojai and the Los Padres National Forest, likely driven by the topography and chaparral that acts as fuel, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Marisol Rodriguez.

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Photos: Wildfires spread in Southern California . As the Thomas Fire burns in the background, Dan Bellaart and his wife, Mary McEwen, comfort each Photos: Wildfires spread in Southern California . Smoke billows from a burning house in Los Angeles as the Creek Fire moves through the area on

California wildfires: Fire fighters habe built barriers between the flames and coastal towns that lie in the path of the Thomas Fire . "This is a menacing fire , certainly, but we have a lot of people working very diligently to bring it under control," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters.

Although winds helped push the Thomas fire toward Carpinteria and the small town of La Conchita, they were largely calm in the city of Ojai, which has eyed approaching flames anxiously. The fire there has been driven into the Las Padres National Forest by topography and chaparral that acts as fuel, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Marisol Rodriguez.

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  California fires have destroyed 1,000 structures Thousands of firefighters are making headway against the vast Thomas Fire burning in Southern California, expressing hope that conditions are becoming more favorable. The blaze is larger than all of New York City and was about 20% contained as of Monday evening,according to the fire protection agency CAL FIRE.The wind was cooperating with firefighters Monday and pushing the fire away from nearby communities, Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason told CNN. The breeze had also cleared the air somewhat, leading to improved visibility for fire crews."It's still not great.

Photos: Wildfires spread in Southern California . The Thomas Fire burns in the mountains near Carpinteria on Sunday, December 10. Authorities believe Virginia Pesola, 70, of Santa Paula, died in a crash while fleeing the fire . Her body was found Wednesday.

Authorities say a body was found in an unincorporated area outside Santa Paula, near the scene of an accident, within the Thomas Fire burn area . The freeway in Carpinteria was later reopened with California Highway Patrol escorts, but northbound lanes remain closed at Highway 126.

“It was truly a miracle that the predicted fierce winds failed to materialize — we were waiting for them, but they didn’t come,” said Rudy Livingston, Ojai’s finance director. “All I can say is, ‘Thank God.’ If they come, it would be been very ugly here.”

On Wednesday night, wildfires raced westward along mountains north of town, forming an eerie bright orange line of flames several miles long. Just south of Ojai city limits, fire crews were attacking smoldering hot spots with water and hand tools.

The woman’s body was found Wednesday night at the site of a car accident on Wheeler Canyon Road. The cause of death and the woman’s identity have not been determined, said Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Donoghue.

Officials determine cause of one of California's devastating wildfires

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Authorities on Thursday said a woman’s body was found in a burn area near Ojai, as firefighters continued to By Thursday evening, the Thomas fire had consumed 115,000 acres, destroyed 427 structures in Ventura With relative humidity in the single digits along the coastal mountains, the air

Photos: Wildfires spread in Southern California . The Thomas Fire burns along a hillside near Santa Paula on December 5. Hide Caption. One of six major wildfires burning in the region, the Thomas Fire is already the fourth largest in California history, Cal Fire said.

In La Conchita, firefighters were able to defend the small beach community overnight. The few residents who stayed behind kept dousing water over their homes as a precaution, even as firefighters told them not to help.

Around 3:30 a.m., the fire from the hillside made it to the backyard of Julio Valera’s home.

Valera, 66, said he and his wife had packed up their belongings into their car. His wife left, but Valera stayed behind to keep an eye on the house.

When the flames reached a tall and dry pine tree next to his home, his jaw dropped. The flames exploded. Valera held his forehead.

“Oh man,” said Valera, who has lived in La Conchita for about 30 years.

Next door embers had caused an empty home to burn. It was the only structure in the vicinity that was destroyed.

Hours later, Valera’s eyes were red from the smoke, his hair uncombed.

“I feel such a relief,” Valera said.


Colossal California fire now 4th largest in state history .
The colossal wildfire burning northwest of Los Angeles became the fourth largest in California history and authorities said it would likely keep growing and threatening communities as hot, gusty winds fanned the flames.State officials said Thursday that the so-called Thomas Fire straddling coastal Ventura and Santa Barbara counties covered 379 square miles (982 square kilometers). That surpassed a blaze that burned inland Santa Barbara County a decade ago.Some evacuations were lifted and the risk to the agricultural city of Fillmore was diminishing.

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