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Containment Up To 50% In Thomas Brush Fire; Acreage Only Grows Slightly, to 271,000 Acres

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)
Bulldozers work on fire line near East Camino Cielo

Firefighters continue to make progress towards containment of the huge Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, using some back burns to try to fight fire with fire.

The fire has burned 271,000 acres, and is 50% contained.

With a lull in the wind Monday, firefighters started a series of planned burns off of Highway 33 about 10 miles north of Ojai. The burns put up a large cloud of smoke, and firefighters say that cloud was from their efforts, and not the Thomas Fire.

Meanwhile, a number of evacuation orders and warnings were reduced, or lifted. Montecito’s shopping and restaurant district, Coast Village Road , reopens Tuesday morning at 6 a.m.