8,000 Firefighters Protect California Communities

Some 8,000 firefighters are deployed to the so-called Thomas Fire, which has burned for nearly two weeks and still threatens 18,000 homes.

Posted: Dec 17, 2017 10:03 AM
Updated: Dec 17, 2017 10:04 AM

MONTECITO, Calif. (AP) - One of the largest wildfires in California history is now 40 percent contained but flames still threaten coastal communities as dry, gusty winds are predicted to continue.

Winds calmed overnight but seaside communities in Santa Barbara counties were warned again Sunday that they're still at risk if unpredictable gusts whip up once more.

Some 8,000 firefighters are deployed to the so-called Thomas Fire, which has burned for nearly two weeks and still threatens 18,000 homes. Parts of the city of Santa Barbara and the hillside enclaves of Montecito and Carpinteria remain under evacuation orders. However in neighboring Ventura County, where the fire started, officials lifted some evacuation orders early Sunday.

A funeral procession is planned Sunday for Cory Iverson, the 32-year-old firefighter killed Thursday while battling the flames.

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