The biggest and most destructive wildfire burning in Southern California has jumped U.S. Highway 101, almost reaching the ocean and forcing new evacuations.
"There's fire all around the valley, so you gotta go", he said. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office began evacuating about 300 residents at about 1:45 a.m., according to a news release.
Officials hope the electronic push will keep the region alert and the death toll from the week's fires at zero.
Southern California had been plagued by brush fires the past week, a result of dry weather and the strong Santa Ana winds.
"Heck yeah I'm still anxious", Rosenzweig said. "We're very grateful but I know we're not out of the woods". Ojai is now surrounded on three sides by the Thomas Fire. The blaze had been creeping there already, but an increase in winds pushed it close enough for many more to flee.
Weather stations in the Los Angeles area that meet the Red Flag Warning criteria at 6:10 a.m. PST
Gusty Winds laid down Wednesday, giving firefighters some time to gain ground on the fire.
Little flame was visible by late Tuesday, but Wednesday, fire exploded on the steep slopes of Sepulveda Pass, closing a section of heavily traveled Interstate 405 and destroying four homes.
All schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District were closed Thursday, Dec. 7 due to smoke from multiple fires around the Los Angeles area. The blaze has destroyed at least 150 structures, and Cal Fire said 12,000 more are threatened.
Animal Evacuations: Those needing assistance evacuating large animals, livestock and small pets were advised to call the Santa Barbara County Animal Services hotline at 866-387-8911.
Air tankers that had been grounded much of the week because of high winds flew on Wednesday, dropping flame retardant. "But that's about it".
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