Thomas Fire prompts new evacuations in Santa Barbara County

Fire is now 40% contained, has burned 259K acres

(KGTV) - The Thomas Fire has forced new evacuation orders in Santa Barbara County, as the blaze rages across a swath of Southern California for the twelfth day.

Since Dec. 4, the fire has grown to 259,000 acres and is 40 percent contained.

Saturday, mandatory evacuation orders were issued by Santa Barbara County for Montecito- and Summerland-area residents. The county advised locals under the order "should leave immediately."

INTERACTIVE MAP: THOMAS FIRE

The county also advised on Twitter that the county website was experiencing issues to the due "extreme traffic" and asked only those who need evacuation information or are in the area use the site.

Video from fire crews in Santa Barbara Saturday showed the immense response by crews and flames licking hilltops:

Thursday, the Thomas Fire claimed the life of 32-year-old Cal Fire San Diego engineer Cory Iverson. The cause of the Iverson's death is under investigation by a Cal Fire "serious accident review team."

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LATEST THOMAS FIRE NUMBERS (9:30 A.M. PST, SATURDAY)

Acres & containment: 259,000 acres, 40 percent contained.

Damages: 1,009 structures destroyed, 240 structures damaged. Officials say at least 18,000 structures are still being threatened.

Evacuations: Latest Santa Barbara County information | Latest Ventura County information

Personnel: 8,370 personnel involved in the firefighting effort.

Equipment: 973 fire engines, 32 helicopters, 92 water tenders, 77 dozers, 161 crews.

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