The Thomas Fire has been blamed for two deaths and the destruction of more than 1,000 structures.
Following the beginning of the Thomas Fire, local community partners determined that the United Way organizations, in both counties, are uniquely positioned and qualified to manage the disaster fund, accept contributions, make distributions, promote the fund and provide a report to the community on how the funds were used. Residents are advised to adhere to the closure order and stay out of the forest until Los Padres National Forest deems it safe for the public to reenter the area and to be mindful on any notices and warning put out by the Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Services and the Ventura County Office of Emergency Management.
The search amid the mud-covered wreckage of cars and homes is in its third day Friday, and crews want people out of the area in order to bring in more dump trucks and heavy equipment to move more of the boulders and debris.
Pawan Hans helicopter with seven onboard goes missing
The chopper reportedly took off from Juhu at 10.20 AM and was scheduled to land at North Field of ONGC at 10.58 AM. The Dauphin helicopter lost contact with Air Traffic Control around 10.35 am almost 30 nautical miles off Mumbai .
The Thomas Fire put a cap on what was the costliest year for wildfires in U.S. history, with $10 billion in damage. Up to 4 inches of rain fell on the Montecito area. "It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere".
"The only words I can really think of to describe what it looked [like] was it looked like a World War I battlefield", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
The federal Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) team and California Watershed Emergency Response Team (WERT) are assessing areas within the Thomas Fire for burn severity and identifying locations at risk for flooding, debris flows and other post-fire hazards.