Expected windy weather could hamper fighting Southern California fire

California Deadly wildfire continues to grow

California Deadly wildfire continues to grow

It's the second death blamed on the so-called Thomas fire, which has ravaged Ventura and Santa Barbara counties for more than a week.

One of six major wildfires burning in the region, the Thomas Fire is already the fourth largest in California history, Cal Fire said.

What should make Southern California fearful is that climate change could mean a future of more frequent and more intense wildfires.

Authorities said a blend of Santa Ana and sundowner winds will hit the zone from Thursday through Sunday, conveying new risks to the fire which authorities said they didn't hope to achieve full regulation of the fire until the end of the first week in January.

"Firefighters will remain engaged in structure defense operations and scout for opportunities to establish direct perimeter control", the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in an advisory.

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Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean called for a moment of silence during a meeting for Fillmore residents Thursday night.

Iverson, who was assigned to the Thomas Fire as part of a fire-engine strike team from Cal Fire's San Diego unit, is survived by his wife, Ashley; 2- year-old daughter, Evie; mother, Denise Butler; stepfather, Scott Butler; and father, Craig Iverson. Tolmachoff said Cal Fire considers her death to be fire-related. Virginia Pesola, 70, was found dead in her auto last week after it was involved in an accident on an evacuation route from the burn area. Her body was found inside the wrecked auto along an evacuation route.

State Fire Chief Ken Pimlott says Cory Iverson was an engineer based in San Diego.

Pimlott said he was "deeply saddened" by Iverson's death but added that fire crews were continuing to focus on their mission.

She said when she was a child, someone set fire to her family's property but the home was saved by some nearby firefighters.

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Firefighting costs so far were tallied at $88.8 million, according to Cal Fire. Containment was estimated at 35 percent.

Some evacuations were lifted in areas where the fire had long since passed.

The wildfire remains a threat to some 18,000 homes and other structures in the communities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito along California's coastline.

LAFD officials have said four fire engines and two brush patrols - described as smaller, more maneuverable vehicles - are working in the area while an all-volunteer LAFD crew is assisting.

Since the blaze broke out on December 4, it has destroyed 970 buildings - including at least 700 homes - and damaged many more.

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