Wednesday, October 17 , 2018, 3:49 pm | Fair 79º

 
 
 
 

Evacuations Expanded to Santa Barbara as Thomas Fire, Now at 230,000 Acres, Marches West

Blaze drops to 10% contained as of Sunday evening; Montecito areas also included in mandatory and voluntary evacuation zones

 

Santa Barbara County officials expanded evacuation areas to the city of Santa Barbara Sunday evening as the Thomas Fire continued to roar toward west, now totaling 230,000 acres. 

An interactive map of the evacuation areas is available online here

The mandatory evacuation area was expanded to include city areas east of Mission Canyon and north of Highway 192/Foothill Road, as well as the area between Olive Mill Road and San Ysidro Road on the north side of Highway 101.

The voluntary evacuation zone was also expanded to include areas south of Highway 192, from the Mission Canyon area to the county line with Ventura County. 

The Thomas Fire was threatening neighborhoods in the Carpinteria Valley and eastern Montecito on Sunday, as the fire burned southwest into Santa Barbara County and passed 200,000 acres. 

At a community meeting Sunday afternoon, Santa Barbara County Fire Battalion Chief Chris Childers said the voluntary evacuation area would be expanding to include parts of the city of Santa Barbara north of Highway 192/Foothill Road and east of Highway 154.

Earlier, evacuation areas stretched across the Carpinteria Valley and eastern Montecito. 

Throughout Sunday, the blaze was also was burning very aggressively toward the west on the north side of the Santa Ynez Mountains, and in the Rose Valley area north of Ojai.

Moderate Santa Ana winds pushed the flames from the 173,000-acre blaze farther west overnight, and were expected to continue through early afternoon, according to fire officials.

The expectation was for the fire to burn actively with significant growth in the Carpinteria area during that period.

Huge flames from the Thomas Fire are visible near high-voltage power lines above Carpinteria early Sunday. Another massive power outage occurred on the Santa Barbara South Coast, which  Southern California Edison officials said was due to the fire. Click to view larger
Huge flames from the Thomas Fire are visible near high-voltage power lines above Carpinteria early Sunday. Another massive power outage occurred on the Santa Barbara South Coast, which Southern California Edison officials said was due to the fire. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

With its rapidly expanding size, containment of the fire dropped to 10% percent Sunday evening.

Heavy burning was reported in the morning in the area of Snowball Mountain and in the upper reaches of Goberndor Canyon, which was putting up a lot of smoke.

Flames also were reported above Toro Canyon, in Santa Monica Canyon, and to the east in Sutton Canyon.

Firefighters conducted a successful firing operation in Santa Monica Canyon intended to keep the flames from moving downslope and to the west.

The fire had not moved down into Carpinteria proper, and was confined mainly to the canyon areas.

Flames from the Thomas Fire are visible in upper Gobernador Canyon. Click to view larger
Flames from the Thomas Fire are visible in upper Gobernador Canyon. (Ray Ford / Noozhawk photo)

There were no immediate reports of structures damaged or destroyed near Carpinteria.

[Scroll down for video of Ventura County Copter 7 making night water drop]

Cate School was unscathed and was being protected by numerous fire engines.

Elsewhere, the fire was reported to be well established in upper Matilija Canyon, and burning in thick vegetation in the area of Divide Peak.

Flames have burned to Jamison Reservoir and Juncal Dam in the upper Santa Ynez River drainage north of the Santa Ynez range, Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department told Noozhawk.

Officials expect the fire, which "is really hauling," will get to Pendola Station before the end of the day,  Zaniboni said.

A home burns on Stanley Park Road near Carpinteria Sunday. Click to view larger
A home burns on Stanley Park Road near Carpinteria Sunday.  (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

Charles Esseling, a public information officer for the fire, told Noozhawk the goal for the fire north of the mountains on Sunday was "to keep the fire east of Highway 154."

Early Sunday, another major power outage hit the South Coast, with electricity out at least from Carpinteria to Goleta.

The 1:25 a.m. blackout was caused by transmission lines being affected by the Thomas Fire, which has been raging out of control since Monday night, according to a tweet by the Southern California Edison Co.

Power was restored to some areas about 45 minutes later, but subsequently went off and back on several times through mid-morning.

Edison said some 85,000 customers were affected by the outage.

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to several neighborhoods in eastern Carpinteria early Sunday to enforce an evacuation order as flames from the Thomas Fire approached from the east. Click to view larger
Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to several neighborhoods in eastern Carpinteria early Sunday to enforce an evacuation order as flames from the Thomas Fire approached from the east. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

A similar outage lasted more than five hours Monday night and into Tuesday morning.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies went door to door in the Shepard Mesa, Stanley Park and Gobernador Canyon neighborhoods overnight, urging people to evacuate.

The mandatory evacuation order initially was for the area north of Highway 192/Foothill Road and east of Casitas Pass Road.

However, shortly before 3 a.m., the Sheriff’s Department said the mandatory evacuations had been expanded to include the area north of Highway 192, from Ladera Lane/Toro Canyon Road to the Ventura County line.

At 7 a.m., the mandatory evacuations area was expanded again to include from Buena Vista east to the county line and north of Highway 192 (East Valley Road), to include the 900 block of Park Lane east.

At 12:19 p.m., a mandatory evacuation order was issued for the area from Hot Springs Road to Buena Vista Drive, between Highway 192 and East Camino Cielo.

A helicopter battling the Thomas Fire comes in for water Sunday at a loading site on Carpinteria Avenue near City Hall. Click to view larger
A helicopter battling the Thomas Fire comes in for water Sunday at a loading site on Carpinteria Avenue near City Hall. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

The voluntary evacuation warning was expanded to include:

» The area from Mission Canyon Road to Hot Springs Road, between Highway 192 and East Camino Cielo.

» The area from Mission Canyon Road to Cold Springs Road, between Alameda Padre Serra and Highway 192.

» The area from Alameda Padre Serra to Hot Springs / El Rancho Road between South Salinas Street and Highway 192. 

» East of Eucalyptus Lane /San Ysidro to the county line, south of Highway 192 to the ocean.

Click here for an updated map of evacuation areas in Santa Barbara County.

A firefighter suffered a broken leg Sunday while battling the blaze in Carpinteria, and was taken by AMR ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

His name and details on his condition were not available.

Additional fire crews were being dispatched to the area, and a night-flying helicopter was brought in the assist in the firefight.

An evacuation shelter is open at the UCSB Recreational Center, at 516 Ocean Road, on the campus, and evacuees can park in Parking Lot 16 and be directed to the shelter. 

From northbound 101, drivers should take State Route 217 toward the campus' east entrance, take the first right at the roundabout, onto Mesa Road, and left on Ocean Road.

Santa Barbara County fire updates are being posted here.

The Santa Barbara County Education Office announced that many schools would be closed Monday, and some for longer. 

Carpinteria Unified School District decided to close schools for the entire week, and will resume classes Jan. 8 after winter break. 

Most South County districts will be closed at least Monday and Tuesday, including the Santa Barbara Unified School District, the Goleta Union School District, the Hope School District, Montecito Union School, Cold Spring School District, Peabody Charter School, Adelante Charter School, and Santa Barbara Charter School. 

Some Santa Ynez Valley schools closed Monday include: Ballard, Buellton, College, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, Solvang and Vista Del Mar, according to the county.

The Santa Barbara City College campus was expected to be closed Sunday and Monday.

UC Santa Barbara and Westmont College were also expected to cancel classes, which requires rescheduling final exams. 

Due to continued unhealthy air conditions resulting from the Thomas Fire, free N-95 masks will be distributed as part of a coordinated effort of the Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps, the city of Carpinteria CERT, and Direct Relief International.

The sites that will distribute on Sunday include:

» Costco in the Camino Real Marketplace (7095 Market Place Drive, Goleta), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

» Franklin Community Center (1136 E.Montecito St., Santa Barbara), 10 a.m. to noon.

» Albertsons in Carpinteria (1018 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria), 10 a.m. to 42 p.m.

» Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St., 1 to 5 p.m.

Public Health Department spokeswoman Susan Klein-Rothschild said there was no specific number of days people can wear the disposable N-95 masks, but the important thing is that the mask retains the airtight seal. 

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

Click here to sign up for Noozhawk’s free breaking news text alerts to your cell phone.

Noozhawk outdoors writer Ray Ford reported from the scene.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department video

Evacuations were underway early Sunday as the Thomas Fire was threatening neighborhoods in the eastern Carpinteria Valley.

At the same time, another major power outage hit the South Coast, with electricity out at least from Carpinteria to Goleta.

Flames were approaching homes in the Shepard Mesa area primarily from the northeast along the Highway 150 corridor.

At 8 a.m., heavy burning was reported in the area of Snowball Mountain and the upper reaches of Goberndor Canyon, which was putting up a lot of smoke.

The flames had not moved down into Carpinteria proper, and were confined mainly to the canyon areas.

There were no immediate reports of structures damaged or destroyed.

[Scroll down for video of Ventura County Copter 7 making night water drop]

Cate School was unscathed and was being protected by numerous fire engines.

Elsewhere, the fire was reported to be well established in the upper Matilija Canyon.

Offiicially, the blaze remained at 155,000 acres charred and 15 percent contained.

The 1:25 a.m. blackout was caused by transmission lines being affected by the Thomas Fire, which has been raging out of control since Monday night, according to a tweet by the Southern California Edison Co.

Power was restored to some areas about 45 minutes later, but subsequently went off and back on several times. At 5 a.m. it was still off.

Edison said some 85,000 customers were affected by the outage.

A similar outage lasted more than five hours Monday night and into Tuesday morning.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies were going door to door in the Shepard Mesa, Stanley Park and Gobernador Canyon neighborhoods, according to emergency radio traffic.

The mandatory evacuation order initially was for the area north of Highway 192/Foothill Road and east of Casitas Pass Road.

Shortly before 3 a.m., the Sheriff’s Department said the mandatory evacuations had been expanded to include the area north of Highway 192, from Ladera Lane/Toro Canyon Road to the Ventura County line.

At 7 a.m., the mandatory evacuations area was expanded again to include from Buena Vista east to the county line and north of Highway 192 (East Valley Road), to include the 900 block of Park Lane east.

The voluntary evacuation warning was expanded to include:

» East of Hot Springs to Buena Vista Drive, north of Highway 192 (E. Valley Road)

» East of Eucalyptus Lane /San Ysidro to the county line, south of Highway 192 to the ocean

Additional fire crews were being dispatched to the area, and a night-flying helicopter was brought in the assist in the firefight.

An evacuation shelter is open at the UCSB Recreational Center, at 516 Ocean Road, on the campus, and evacuees can park in Parking Lot 16 and be directed to the shelter. 

From northbound 101, drivers should take State Route 217 toward the campus' east entrance, take the first right at the roundabout, onto Mesa Road, and left on Ocean Road.

Santa Barbara County fire updates are being posted here.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

Click here to sign up for Noozhawk’s free breaking news text alerts to your cell phone.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department video

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