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California fires 65 per cent contained
All evacuation orders in California's Santa Barbara County and portions of Ventura County have been lifted as fire crews gained ground in a massive blaze raging north of Los Angeles.
The devastating fires have been 65 per cent contained as firefighters took advantage of calm winds throughout Thursday, the day after some strong Santa Ana winds hit the area overnight.
Fire crews fought fire with fire on Thursday.Russia's Yakuti region plunges to -67C
"The tactical firing that is being accomplished there is to help to control the fire because of the extreme dry conditions and the lack of rain," explained Ventura County Fire Captain Brendan Ripley, who specialises in analysing fire behaviour.
Since the so-called Thomas fire erupted on December 4, the blaze has burned through some 1,103sq/km and destroyed 1063 homes businesses and structures, according to officials. Two people have died in the flames.
The wildfire continues to threaten about 18,000 structures. Its cause is still under investigation.California home held torture chamber
Weather conditions in the next couple of days could help firefighters get the blaze under control.