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Fire, mudflows, evacuations and deaths: Maps show how Montecito has been hit

Fire, mudflows, evacuations and deaths: Maps show how Montecito has been hit

The Thomas fire became California's largest wildfire on record, burning more than 280,000 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. In addition to causing massive destruction, the fire also contributed to earlier this week.

Two deaths were attributed to the wildfire - 70-year-old Virginia Pesola of Santa Paula who crashed her auto trying to escape and 32-year old San Diego fire engineer Cory Iverson who was killed battling the fire.

What was previously designated a public safety exclusion zone - an area west of Sheffield Drive/East Valley Road/Ladera Lane, east of Olive Mill/Hot Springs Road, north of the ocean, and south of the U.S. Forest Service boundary - is now part of the mandatory evacuation order area.

Los Padres National Forest officials flew over the scorched land Thursday and determined that it was fully contained.

A series of wildfires in Northern California late past year, killing more than 40 people.

More news: International Olympic Committee 'considering joint Korea hockey team'

The Thomas Fire ignited on December 4 and has burned about 281,900 acres since then, sending wide swaths of Southern California up in flames.

Burned barren by the fire, the hills in the area made easy prey for recent heavy rains, loosing rivers of mud that found little resistance from the scant vegetation that remained. Please write "Thomas Fire Fund" in the memo.

The Montecito region near Santa Barbara, a wealthy area and other celebrities, was particularly badly hit.

"The only words I can really think of to describe what it looked [like] was it looked like a World War I battlefield", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

With the fire now essentially out, officials are focusing on repairing damage from the firefighting efforts, and assessing risks from flooding and debris flows.


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