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Thomas Fire Grows To 96,000 Acres; Highway 101 Reopens After Closure From Ventura to Carpinteria

Flames south of La Conchita Thursday morning

The Thomas fire has grown to 96,000 acres, and extended from Ventura County in to Santa Barbara County.

15,000 structures are reported to be at risk from the monster blaze which began Monday night.  A flareup of the blaze late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning led to the shutdown of Highway 101 from Ventura to Carpinteria, but it was reopened in both directions by around 7 a.m.

The fire led to a mandatory evacuation order for the Rincon Point community near Carpinteria, with about 300 people being impacted.  Mandatory evacuation orders were also put in place for a portion of the Ojai valley west of Highway 33.

There's word of the body of a woman being recovered from a vehicle in the Wheeler Canyon area that's believed to be connected to the fire, but officials don't have additional details available yet.

Firefighters are keep a close eye on the wind through the day today, with the potential still in place for some strong Santa Ana conditions. 

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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