Ferocious California wildfire grows into third-largest in state history as winds pick up [Photos]

A raging California wildfire powered by fierce winds grew into the third-largest in state history on Saturday as forced evacuations turned neighborhoods into ghost towns and ash fell in some areas like heavy snow

FP Staff December 17, 2017 16:04:24 IST
A raging California wildfire powered by fierce winds grew into the third-largest in state history on Saturday as forced evacuations turned neighborhoods into ghost towns and ash fell in some areas like heavy snow. AP
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A raging California wildfire powered by fierce winds grew into the third-largest in state history on Saturday as forced evacuations turned neighborhoods into ghost towns and ash fell in some areas like heavy snow. AP
High winds and dry conditions were expected to remain through the weekend to power the so-called Thomas Fire in Southern California. AP
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High winds and dry conditions were expected to remain through the weekend to power the so-called Thomas Fire in Southern California. AP
The fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures and threatened 18,000 more since erupting on 4 December, including homes in the wealthy enclave of Montecito just outside the coastal city of Santa Barbara. AP
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The fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures and threatened 18,000 more since erupting on 4 December, including homes in the wealthy enclave of Montecito just outside the coastal city of Santa Barbara. AP
Nearly 8,500 personnel using nearly 1,000 engines and 32 helicopters were battling the blaze, which was 40 percent contained on Saturday evening. It has become the seventh-most destructive in state history, officials said. AP
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Nearly 8,500 personnel using nearly 1,000 engines and 32 helicopters were battling the blaze, which was 40 percent contained on Saturday evening. It has become the seventh-most destructive in state history, officials said. AP
A new evacuation order was issued for parts of Santa Barbara County on Saturday as high winds whipped the fire through bone-dry terrain. AP
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A new evacuation order was issued for parts of Santa Barbara County on Saturday as high winds whipped the fire through bone-dry terrain. AP
The wildfire forced many schools to close for days, shut roads and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes. It was also responsible for poor air quality throughout Southern California. AP
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The wildfire forced many schools to close for days, shut roads and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes. It was also responsible for poor air quality throughout Southern California. AP