Multiple fires are raging in Southern California. A series of Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires have destroyed hundreds of structures, forced thousands to flee and smothered the region with smoke in what officials predicted would be a pitched battle for days.
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On Thursday afternoon, helicopters hauling water dipped into Lake Casitas, west of California 33, and headed to a fire near the Ojai Valley. Fires dotted the hillsides along California 150. A mix of firefighters in trucks and helicopters worked to extinguish those fires, steering them away from the towns of Casitas Springs and Oak View.
Since late Monday, the Thomas fire has burned at least 96,000 acres and 150 structures. Fire officials plan to update those numbers, possibly Thursday evening.
Through Wednesday night and into Thursday, the Thomas fire spread significantly around Ojai and into the Los Padres National Forest. Officials have feared the fire could last for weeks if the area doesn't see any rain and if high winds continue.