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Massive Wildfire On South Coast Hits 115,000 Acres; Number Of Structures Lost Now Surpasses 400

The Thomas Fire expanded into Santa Barbara County on Thursday

The massive Thomas brush fire burning on the South Coast took another big jump in size Thursday, going from 96,000 to 115,000 acres.

But, perhaps even more stunning is the latest figure for the number of structures lost. Officials have been saying 150 since Tuesday morning, but admitted they haven’t been able to do a complete survey. A just completed update shows that 439 structures were destroyed, with the majority, 427, in the City of Ventura. However, we still don’t know how many of the lost structures were homes.

Fire commanders say while there were some flareups Wednesday night and Thursday, they were able to keep a handle on the flames in populated areas. The Santa Ana winds are predicted to ease, but weather forecasters also brought some bad news. Instead of tapering off tomorrow, we will see wind, and heightened fire conditions through Sunday night.

More than 50,000 people still are under mandatory evacuation, but officials say they are making preparations to let people return home in Ventura in the next few days.

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