Thomas Fire now third-most destructive in state history

Instagram Rob Lowe									SOURCE Instagram Rob Lowe

"It's one of the longest respites we've had".

"Usually Santa Ana winds last two days". This week, while a fire northwest of Los Angeles still raged after destroying more than 700 homes, the U.S. Forest Service and CAL Fire say the threat will remain high due to an estimated 129 million trees that died in California over the past year from drought and beetle infestation. About 18,000 structures remain threatened by wind-driven flames, which have destroyed 1,026 structures and damaged 242 others, according to Cal Fire. The 422-square-mile blaze, the third largest in state history, is 45 percent contained.

Santa Barbara's Office of Emergency Management announced a series of mandatory evacuation orders as well as voluntary evacuation warnings for parts of the county on its Twitter account.

For Thomas Fire updates, visit Santa Barbara County's website and Ventura County's emergency page.

Fire crews on Monday were expected to focus on Fillmore. This means that the weather conditions will work well for the firefighters' favor.

In the Santa Barbara County towns of Montecito and Summerland, firefighters were to continue mop-up efforts to prevent flare-ups, Negrete said. They returned home from Colorado on Sunday and found little of what was left of their house. "It's where we live".

Everything about the fire has been major, from the sheer scale of destruction that affected entire neighborhoods to the legions of people attacking it.

Rob Lowe helped firefighters and then invited them to help themselves to a meal after they worked to save his home and others' in the path of the wind-whipped Thomas Fire, which has been burning since December 4 and most recently was threatening homes in Montecito.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. So far, firefighting costs have surpassed $117 million.

Information for this article was contributed by Christopher Weber of The Associated Press; and by Hailey Branson-Potts and Melissa Etehad of the Los Angeles Times.

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