Thomas Fire grows to 420 square miles; full containment expected by Jan. 7

MONTECITO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The size of the Thomas Fire inched upward to 269,000 acres overnight Saturday as the devastating blaze's containment level remained at 40 percent, officials said.

Mandatory evacuation orders remained in place for the foothill areas of Carpinteria, Montecito and Santa Barbara, as some 8,500 firefighters continued to battle the third-largest wildfire in California's history.

The Thomas Fire has claimed the life of one firefighter, Fire Apparatus Engineer Cory Iverson, whose funeral procession departed the Ventura County medical examiner's office on Sunday morning en route to a San Diego mortuary.

About 18,000 structures remain threatened by wind-driven flames, which have destroyed 1,020 structures and damaged 242 others, according to Cal Fire. Among the razed structures were 756 homes.

VIDEO: Aerial footage shows before-and-after look at destruction from Thomas Fire
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This satellite view from SkyMap7 shows the devastation from the Thomas Fire to this Ventura neighborhood.



In Montecito, where several multimillion-dollar homes have burned, firefighters on Sunday were contending with powerful Santa Ana winds that at times prevented helicopters from making water drops.

"If you hold the compass up, it burned north to south, right down the canyons -- Romero, Cold Spring Canyon -- and it burned in and around a number of homes," said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority, one of many agencies involved in the firefight.

PHOTOS: Thomas Fire devastates Ventura County



The cost of battling the inferno, which began on Dec. 4, has reached at least $110,286,500, Cal Fire said. Officials do not expect full containment of the fire until Jan. 7.

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