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Ventura Man Loses Everything in Devastating Thomas Fire

Ventura Man Loses Everything in Devastating Thomas Fire

A man looks at the burning hillside in Ventura County during the Thomas Fire.

In Carpinteria, Santa Barbara Sheriff's officials say 300 people had to evacuate from the Rincon Point Area of Carpinteria, an area that was previously under voluntary evacuation.

Almost 30,000 people are under evacuation orders for the fire.

- A woman in her vehicle was reported as the first official death of the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, the biggest of the wildfires burning in Southern California, authorities said on Thursday. They recommend anyone who is near the area, who isn't under an evacuation order, to be prepared to leave at a moment's notice.

As of Wednesday morning, with flames still visible on either side of the road, the freeway remains open in both directions, Caltrans said, sharing photos of the blaze near the Seacliff exit north of Ventura. The freeway in Carpinteria was later reopened with California Highway Patrol escorts, but northbound lanes remain closed at Highway 126.

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"It's big, it's powerful, it's something you don't want to mess around with", said Jordan Harp, a Santa Barbara resident.

Santa Barbara City College closed Tuesday but held classes again Wednesday.

The Santa Maria Air Attack Base is now sending a DC 10 jet along with other large jet tankers carrying massive amounts of fire retardant to help the firefighters on the ground. The red line was the perimeter 24 hours before, and the yellow line was about 48 hours before.

Raging fires in neighboring communities meant off-duty firefighters came to work in the city, as the Fire Department sent 13 members to nearby wildfires. "We've never used purple before".


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