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Massive Thomas Brush Fire In Ventura, Santa Barbara Counties Grows To 236,000 Acres

Thomas Fire burns into mountains above Summerland, Montecito

The massive Thomas brush fire continued to move west in Santa Barbara County Tuesday, with the fire growing to 236,000 acres.

Huge flames lit up the mountains above Summerland and Montecito.  Firefighters spent much of the day trying to build fire breaks to help stop the flames from moving down from the mountains to the homes below.

Fire officials say containment of the fire grew during the day, going from 20% to 25%.  As the fire burned down the mountainsides, firefighters pre-positioned near homes worked to protect them from the flames.

The mandatory evacuation zone includes all of the area north of Highway 192 from the Ventura County Line to Mission Canyon.

The total cost of the firefighting effort now tops $55 million dollars.

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.