Efforts to battle the Thomas fire in Ventura County have cost $17 million since the blaze first exploded on Monday, officials said Saturday.
Crews working from helicopters and air tankers have dropped 712,000 gallons of fire suppressant across the fire. The retardant includes a mixture of water, foam and fertilizer, which helps vegetation grow back after a fire.
Wind has been a consistent threat throughout the week, and meteorologists advised fire officials that the Santa Ana winds could return Saturday afternoon. If that happens, winds could push the fire toward Santa Barbara County, including the coastal communities of Carpinteria and Summerland.
Bulldozers have been working to build fire breaks near that portion of the fire, in case the blaze does make a run toward Carpinteria, said Rich Macklin, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.