VENTURA, Calif. (CBSMiami) — The raging Thomas Fire, now the 5th largest brush fire in California history, triggered new evacuation orders for the Ventura-Santa Barbara county lines, authorities said.
Overnight, new orders were sent out for the Carpinteria and Montecito areas after another structure was lost.
The California wildfires have destroyed an area larger than New York City and Boston – combined and there is no end in sight.
Ferocious Santa Ana winds are literally adding fuel to the fires, one week after the colossal Thomas Fire started.
The Thomas Fire is 230,000 acres. It started in the Santa Barbara area and is now burning through Ventura County toward Los Angeles.
More than $34 million has already been spent fighting the Thomas Fire, according to the Ventura County. That cost will grow since the first was only 10-percent contained on Sunday.
At least 25,000 homes are threatened by five wildfires, according to the fire protection agency CAL FIRE.
As of Sunday, 5,773 firefighters were tackling the Thomas Fire alone.
The Nevada Department of Corrections and Nevada Division of Forestry — which run conservation camps — have sent six trained crews of minimum-security inmates to help.
Thousands more firefighters– including some from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington state — were involved in fighting the other wildfires.
Santa Barbara County has suffered intermittent (but widespread) power outages due to the Thomas Fire. Southern California Edison said that outages and surges had left up to 85,000 customers without electricity.
Every day, Los Angeles firefighters receive a brush burning index report that indicates the fire danger. If it is 162 or higher, that’s considered extreme. Late last week, it was 296 — a record.
At least 98,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California, according to CAL FIRE.
This year has been the costliest for wildfires in the United States. Damages have topped $10 billion in 2017 — and that was before the current spate of Southern California fires began.
Governor Jerry Brown said over the weekend these year-round, massive fires are the new norm in California, blaming it on climate change.
(©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)