Thomas Fire in Ventura County Could Drag on for Weeks Due to Strong Santa Ana Winds, Dry Conditions: Officials

Gusty Santa Ana winds and bone-dry conditions continued to stoke major wildfires in Southern California on Thursday as Ventura County fire officials said the battle there could last well over a week.

Edward Aguilar runs through flames from the Thomas Fire to save his cats at his mobile home along Highway 33 in Casitas Springs on Dec. 5, 2017. (Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Edward Aguilar runs through flames from the Thomas Fire to save his cats at his mobile home along Highway 33 in Casitas Springs on Dec. 5, 2017. (Credit:
Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

“Until the wind stops blowing, there’s really not a lot we can do as far as controlling the perimeter,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said as crews battled the 96,000-acre Thomas fire. “This is a fight we’re going to be fighting probably for a couple of weeks.”

That grim outlook came just hours after authorities said they discovered the body of a woman in a burn area, and after heavy winds prompted residents to flee the coastal community of Faria Beach. As smoke billowed overhead and palm trees burned, a police officer drove through the settlement with a megaphone blaring: “Mandatory evacuation” and “Please go the other way, the road is closed.”

In Ojai, 40-mph winds pushed flames to within a mile of the city.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.