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The Thomas Fire was threatening neighborhoods in the Carpinteria Valley and eastern Montecito on Sunday, prompting officials to expand both mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders for the area.
Moderate Santa Ana winds pushed the flames from the 173,000-acre blaze farther west overnight, and were expected to continue through early afternoon, according to fire officials.
The expectation was for the fire to burn actively with significant growth in the Caripinteria area during that period.
Despite its expanded size, containment of the fire remained at 15 percent Sunday morning.
At 8 a.m., heavy burning was reported in the area of Snowball Mountain and the upper reaches of Gobernador Canyon, which was putting up a lot of smoke.
Flames also were reported above Toro Canyon, in Santa Monica Canyon, and to the east in Sutton Canyon.
Firefighters conducted a successful firing operation in Santa Monica Canyon to keep the flame from moving downslope and to the west.
The flames had not moved down into Carpinteria proper, and were confined mainly to the canyon areas.
There were no immediate reports of structures damaged or destroyed.
Cate School was unscathed and was being protected by numerous fire engines.
Elsewhere, the fire was reported to be well established in the upper Matilija Canyon.
Early Sunday, another major power outage hit the South Coast, with electricity out at least from Carpinteria to Goleta. The 1:25 a.m. blackout was caused by transmission lines being affected by the Thomas Fire, which has been raging out of control since Monday night, according to a tweet by the Southern California Edison Co.
Power was restored to some areas about 45 minutes later, but subsequently went off and back on several times through mid-morning.
Edison said some 85,000 customers were affected by the outage.
A similar outage lasted more than five hours Monday night and into Tuesday morning.
Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies were going door to door in the Shepard Mesa, Stanley Park and Gobernador Canyon neighborhoods, according to emergency radio traffic.
The mandatory evacuation order initially was for the area north of Highway 192/Foothill Road and east of Casitas Pass Road.
Shortly before 3 a.m., the Sheriff’s Department said the mandatory evacuations had been expanded to include the area north of Highway 192, from Ladera Lane/Toro Canyon Road to the Ventura County line.
At 7 a.m., the mandatory evacuations area was expanded again to include from Buena Vista east to the county line and north of Highway 192 (East Valley Road), to include the 900 block of Park Lane east.
The voluntary evacuation warning was expanded to include:
▪ East of Hot Springs to Buena Vista Drive, north of Highway 192 (E. Valley Road)
▪ East of Eucalyptus Lane /San Ysidro to the county line, south of Highway 192 to the ocean
Additional fire crews were being dispatched to the area, and a night-flying helicopter was brought in the assist in the firefight.
An evacuation shelter is open at the UCSB Recreational Center, at 516 Ocean Road, on the campus, and evacuees can park in Parking Lot 16 and be directed to the shelter.
From northbound 101, drivers should take State Route 217 toward the campus' east entrance, take the first right at the roundabout, onto Mesa Road, and left on Ocean Road.
Santa Barbara County fire updates are being posted here.
The Santa Barbara County Education Office announced that many schools would be closed Monday, and that the Santa Barbara Unified School District, the Goleta Union School District, the Hope School District, Peabody Charter School, Adelante Charter School, and Santa Barbara Charter School plan to resume classes on Tuesday. The College School District in Santa Ynez will also be closed Monday.
The Carpinteria Unified School District plans to resume classes on Wednesday.
The Cold Spring and Montecito Union schools districts plan to resume classes on Monday.
The Santa Barbara City College campus was expected to be closed Sunday and Monday.
Due to continued unhealthy air conditions resulting from the Thomas Fire, free N-95 masks will be distributed as part of a coordinated effort of the Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps, the city of Carpinteria CERT, and Direct Relief International.
The sites that will distribute on Sunday include:
▪ Costco in the Camino Real Marketplace (7095 Market Place Drive, Goleta), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
▪ Franklin Community Center (1136 E.Montecito St., Santa Barbara), 10 a.m. to noon.
▪ Albertsons in Carpinteria (1018 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria), 10 a.m. to 42 p.m.
▪ Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St., 1 to 5 p.m.