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Wildfires Trigger New Evacuation Orders In California

Posted: Updated:
VENTURA, California -

The raging Thomas Fire triggered new evacuation orders Sunday for the Ventura-Santa Barbara county lines, authorities said. Overnight, new orders were sent out for the Carpinteria and Montecito areas as one structure was lost, CBS Los Angeles reports.

In addition, the Thomas Fire is now the sixth largest in California history, according to fire officials. It has scorched at least 200,000 acres as of Sunday evening.

Residents in areas north of Carpinteria from Toro Canyon Road east to the Santa Barbara County line and north of Highway 192 have been told to evacuate, as well as areas east of Buena Vista Drive to the county line and north of Highway 192.

Voluntary evacuation orders have been issued for areas east of San Ysidro to the county line, and south of Highway 192 to the ocean.

An evacuation shelter has been established at the UCSD Recreation Center at 516 Ocean Road, authorities said.

The fire has also interrupted transmission lines for the Santa Barbara area, leaving more than 85,000 customers without power.

The fire erupted seven days ago and resulted in 88,000 people having to evacuate throughout that time period.

"This fire literally started on the first day of our Santa Ana wind event, which it couldn't have started on a worse day," said Capt. Steve Kaufmann of the Ventura County Fire Department. "Last night, because we're still under the Santa Ana wind event, the fire activity increased overnight."

Kaufmann said the fire "blew up" very aggressively overnight into Santa Barbara County.

"If you're sitting on the 101 right now and you look up at the Camino Cielo ridgetop, you're going to be able to see fire that's crested the ridgetop that looks like it's heading down towards Montecito, Carpinteria, Summerland," he said.

An upwards of 4,000 firefighters have been deployed to the firefight.

"Please heed our warnings: the time for people to evacuate is not when we are trying to get our fire engines into the neighborhoods so if we do do an evacuation order, please make sure that you get out as soon as you can," he said.

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