Fire officials said they made good progress Friday due to weakening of the Santa Ana winds. Bill Murphy, public information officer with Cal Fire, said firefighters had a successful day fighting flames on the southern edge toward the coast as well as in parts of Ojai thanks to favorable wind patterns, diminished Santa Anas and crews improving fire lines they had established.
By Friday evening, the Thomas fire had burned 143,000 acres and was at 10% containment. As a result, Murphy said, evacuation orders for most of Ventura and Santa Paula were lifted. Firefighters continued to encounter difficulty on the east side of the fire above Fillmore.
Firefighters used helicopters to drop water in that area to try to contain the blaze. Firefighters also made progress on Highway 33 and U.S. 101 on the west side of the fire. They said activity in that area has decreased from previous days.