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Fleeing Massive Thomas Fire On South Coast An Ordeal For Some

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Flames burn near a home in Montecito on Tuesday. Firefighters successfully protected the house.

The fire has been an unforgettable, and at times terrifying experience for tens of thousands of people on the South Coast.

Many people have gone through incredible odysseys to escape the flames.

Megan Sandoval says the Thomas fire was an overwhelming experience for her, and her family. They live in Meiners Oaks, in the Ojai Valley, and when they heard about the fire, they immediately started packing.

They didn’t need an official evacuation order to know it was time to go the morning after the blaze started. Sandoval says they tried to get to Ventura on Highway 33, but the flames closed the highway, and forced them to turn around. They took Highway 150 to Carpinteria, but it too five hours on the jammed highway.

Sandoval says the experience was especially traumatic for her three kids.

Fortunately, they have relatives in Carpinteria, so they had a place to stay for the last week.

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