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Containment Up To 86% On Thomas Fire; Land Burned Tops 281,000 Acres

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)
A firefighter in the Santa Barbara foothills last week

Firefighters say they have been building on previous gains, and have reached 86% containment on the massive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

The amount of land burned now tops 281,000 acres.  Fire officials say the increase is due to some of what was unburned land inside existing containment lines.  They say containment lines from Ventura to Santa Barbara remain secure.  Temperatures were ideal for firefighters, in the 60's to low 70's, although the relative humidity remained on the low side on Christmas Day at 5%-15%.

The fire continues to generate smoke.  Also, the blaze has triggered about 30 oil seep fires in the Upper Ojai area.  Firefighters are getting some special foam which will be used to extinguish the seep blazes.