sky is being covered by thick black soot smoke coming from fire in California, USA

Following what may be seen as a looming danger, is no longer news that many residents are fear of their safety as the sky is being covered by thick black soot smoke coming from fire in California, USA

California wild fire

Thousands of additional residents were evacuated Saturday from areas near the Thomas Fire, now the third-largest wildfire in modern California history.
Fueled by high winds, the massive fire north of Ventura continued growing Saturday. It had burned 267,500 acres by Saturday evening, Cal Fire said. That's up from 256,000 acres on Friday.
The blaze broke out 12 days ago and has killed a firefighter and a woman trying to flee.

Twelve thousand additional people were being evacuated Saturday from areas near the blaze in Santa Barbara County, said the county Sheriff's Office spokesman Brian Olmstead. Meanwhile, mandatory evacuations in Ventura County -- where the fire began-- were lifted Saturday.

Red-flag warnings are in effect for a large swathe of Southern California through late Sunday, with wind gusts of up to 55 mph expected overnight, according to CNN meteorologist Gene Norman.

Strong winds and dry conditions are expected fuel the blaze and increase the chance for new fires. On Saturday, a new fire near Lompoc, known as the Drum Fire, broke out, according to Cal Fire. As of Saturday afternoon it was about 30 acres, Norman said.
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Brown smoke is seen continuing to spew from the Thomas Fire in this image of Southern California captured by our @NASAEarth-observing satellites on Dec. 14. Details:

The Thomas Fire is slowly devouring its way up the list of the state's largest wildfires. It's now only about 13,000 acres behind the all-time leader, the Cedar Fire, which burned 273,246 acres in San Diego County in 2003, according to Cal Fire.

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Despite the strong winds, firefighters have contained 40% of the blaze, up from 35% on Friday. Winds should ease late Sunday night into Monday, allowing for additional containment, forecasters said.

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