Santa Barbara is now threatened by the rapidly growing Thomas Fire, as thousands of firefighters battle several infernos burning through Southern California on Monday.
The fire grew by 50,000 acres on Sunday as dry Santa Ana winds continued, triggering evacuation orders throughout Santa Barbara County.
The five major blazes have scorched over 250,000 acres across Southern California. Over 9,000 firefighters have been deployed to combat the fires, and authorities have shut down major highways, closed schools, and ordered close to 100,000 people to evacuate.
The first and largest blaze, the Thomas Fire, started Monday night in Ventura County. The Creek Fire near Sylmar and the Rye Fire in Santa Clarita broke out in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and the Skirball Fire, centered in the wealthy Bel Air neighborhood in Los Angeles, started Wednesday morning.
Here are the locations of all the fires, as well the most recent total acreage burned as of Monday.
Thomas Fire, Ventura County
The Thomas Fire is burning 230,500 acres and has damaged or destroyed 981 structures destroyed out of at least 18,000 threatened.
Firefighters have contained 15% of the blaze as high winds continue to whip the fire.
Officials ordered further evacuations in Santa Barbara County as high winds pushed the fire closer to populated areas on Sunday. One death has been blamed on the Fire: the body of 70-year-old Virginia Pesola was discovered at a car crash site on an evacuation route in Ventura County on Wednesday night, according to NBC.
Creek Fire, Sylmar
- Gene Blevins/Reuters
The Creek Fire has burned 15,619 acres, and officials estimate it has destroyed or damaged at least 89 out of at least 2,500 threatened. Firefighters had managed to contain 95% of the blaze as of Monday morning.
All evacuation orders have been lifted in areas around Sylmar.
Rye Fire, Santa Clarita
The Rye Fire has burned 6,049 acres near Santa Clarita, and firefighters have contained 93% of the fire as of Monday.
Skirball Fire, Bel Air
- REUTERS/Gene Blevins
The Skirball Fire, near the wealthy Bel Air neighborhood in Los Angeles, has burned 421 acres and is 85% contained as of Monday, according to Los Angeles Fire Department officials.
The fire threatened the Getty Center, one of the world’s most popular art museums, though the flames moved away from it on Thursday. Six structures were destroyed and another 12 were damaged.
Lilac Fire, San Diego
- REUTERS/Mike Blake
The Lilac Fire started in San Diego County Thursday evening. It’s stretching 4,100 acres and is 75% contained as of Monday. It prompted a new round of evacuations and multiple school closures throughout San Diego last week.
As of Monday morning, 151 structures were destroyed and some local road closures were still in effect, but mandatory evacuation orders were lifted.
These areas are under a “red flag” warning for fire risk as of Monday. The high-risk zone extends from the Mexico border to Santa Barbara.
- Cal Fire
Forecasters expect the winds to subside this week, though there is still no rain in the immediate forecast.
The dry winds have turned the region into a sort of tinderbox, and officials warn that even a small spark can still ignite a massive blaze.
Here are the locations of the major blazes in Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Diego counties as of Monday morning.
- Cal Fire