Cal Fire says nearly 1,800 firefighters are continuing to battle the blaze. Numerous aircraft are also assisting ground crews with water drops.
"Honestly, the firefighters are taking a beating, but we have to acknowledge the residents because they're taking beating, too, but they're cooperating with our orders," said Thomas Kruschke, spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.
The battle to douse the blaze is especially arduous on the Santa Barbara-Ventura County line, where the terrain is steep and rugged, he said. Fire officials hope to get as many as a dozen helicopters in the air Thursday, but the winds have been playing havoc on the choppers and fixed-wing aircraft, Kruschke said.
Stretches of Highway 101, closed during the onset of the fire, were reopened Thursday morning, but California Highway Patrol officials advised motorists to not take the highway between Ventura and Santa Barbara, if possible.
The smoke from the fires could be seen from the International Space Station. Astronaut Randy Bresnik wrote in one tweet: "I was asked this evening if we can see the SoCal fires from space. Yes Faith, unfortunately we can. May the Santa Ana's die down soon. #Californiawildfire."