Celebrities tweet about Thomas Fire raging in SoCal


The biggest wildfire raging since the last two weeks in Southern California has been contained by 50 per cent, authorities said.

"We're going to wind test this thing Wednesday and Thursday", Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson told Noozhawk.

As wildfires continue to rage in the southern portion of the state, fire officials are hoping to end what might be described as a almost endless cycle by planning to set more controlled burns.

But state fire Deputy Chief Mark Brown says before the fire is fully contained, the blaze will nearly certainly become the biggest in state history.

As the Thomas Fire tops 270,000 acres, it is on track to become larger than the record-holding 2003 Cedar Fire, which killed 15 people and charred just over 273,000 acres in San Diego, with the current blaze having already cost the state $74 million and burned through 1,000 buildings and more than 750 homes.

Evacuation orders remain for swaths of Santa Barbara County, including the hillside communities of Montecito and Summerland.

Officials are hoping their containment lines will hold at Gibraltar Road to the west and East Camino Cielo to the north, where crews spent the day Monday trying to cool down the fire.

The United States Air Force (USAF) have made a reaper drone available to the fire teams to aid in suppressing the blaze.

A grateful Rob Lowe invited firefighters to a meal after they worked to save his and other multi-million dollar homes in Santa Barbara County, Calif., from a wildfire that has been raging since December 4.

The MQ-9 drone cruises at an altitude of 28,000, meaning its reconnaissance does not interfere with aerial firefighting tools such as helicopters and "super scooper" CL-415 firefighting aircraft.