Firefighters made progress against blazes in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, but in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties the situation is growing more dire.

Dec 11, 2017 by

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Santa Barbara County Under Siege
The Thomas fire that started in Ventura County one week ago has pushed into Santa Barbara County, forcing evacuations in the coastal communities of Carpinteria and Montecito. With at least 230,000 acres burned, the wildfire is among the five largest in modern California history, and has destroyed more than 750 buildings. Santa Ana winds and dry conditions have continued to bedevil crews battling the fire, which sent up a plume of smoke visible in downtown L.A. and beyond. When Gov. Jerry Brown surveyed the devastation, he expressed sympathy for the victims but also warned that, given climate change, this is “the new normal.” Meanwhile, 3,000 miles away, Republicans in Congress are planning to limit taxpayers’ ability to write off losses from wildfires and other disasters.

California fire

A cloud of smoke rises to the north of downtown Ventura, as seen Sunday afternoon from the Ventura Pier. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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