Dec 11, 2017

California fires: blaze threatens Santa Barbara and prompts evacuation

Ventura County, CA
USA
by
The Guardian
Firefighters in Ventura, California, an oceanside city in southern California where the wildfires hit hardest. Photo: Kyle Grillot, AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters in Ventura, California, an oceanside city in southern California where the wildfires hit hardest. Photo: Kyle Grillot, AFP/Getty Images

Crews battling a massive wind-driven Californian wildfire that has torched nearly 800 buildings and charred 230,000 acres are bracing to protect towns near Santa Barbara menaced by flames along the state’s scenic coastline.

The Thomas fire ignited last week and is burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, about 100 miles north-west of Los Angeles.

“Fire will continue to threaten the communities of Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito and surrounding areas,” the California department of forestry and fire protection (Cal Fire) said on Sunday night.

Santa Ana winds and the rugged mountainous terrain have hindered firefighters as they fight the blaze, which has destroyed 790 houses, outbuildings and other structures and left 90,000 homes and businesses without power.