Thomas Fire raging through Los Padres forest, still threatening Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara County Firefighters Union posted this video, saying their "Canadian friends" were performing the water drop on Flores Flats.

Two firefighters were injured Sunday while battling the Thomas Fire in Southern California, authorities said.

The blaze that broke out two weeks ago Monday still threatens thousands of homes northwest of Los Angeles. The burned zone encompasses an area about a third of the size of the state of Rhode Island.

Cooler temperatures, higher humidity and a shift in the winds would make for more favorable conditions, a news report said.

The fire had burned 271,000 acres and was 50-percent contained as of Monday night, and officials say they believe the containment number will continue growing as long as the weather stays good.

"We're going to wind test this thing Wednesday and Thursday", Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson told Noozhawk.

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Officials estimate the Thomas Fire will grow to become the biggest in state history before full containment, which is expected by January 7.

It shows a MAFFS-equipped C-130J plane, from the California National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing, dropping a line of Phos-Chek fire retardant on the Santa Barbara hills.

Fire officials lifted several evacuation orders and warnings Monday, including some areas in the city of Santa Barbara, but Sheriff Bill Brown said there are still about 16,000 people affected by mandatory evacuation orders, and another 10,300 people living in voluntary evacuation warning areas.

No further information was available about the second firefighter, who reportedly also had minor injuries.

An injured firefighter in Rose Valley near Ojai is carried to a waiting Ventura County Fire Department Helicopter on the Thomas Fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

  • Adam Floyd