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

Rob Lowe invited firefighters over to his Montecito home to thank them for their efforts battling the Thomas Fire

The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office announced the lifting of evacuation orders for portions of the county on Monday night.

Firefighters took advantage of lighter winds Sunday to push back on the western edge of the fire, the L.A. Times reported, adding that as of Monday morning, about 270,500 acres had burned.

Officials estimate the blaze will be contained by January 7. Fire officials counter that these events, which are low-intensity and are conducted in cooler temperatures during high humidity and calm wind conditions, produce significantly less smoke than wildfires, which have the capacity to destroy all growth in their path.

Coast Village Road is scheduled to reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday bwtween the roundabout/Hot Springs Road and Olive Mill Road, as officials are slowly dropping evacuation orders and warnings.

The increase in evacuations on Saturday drove thousands more people out of their homes as fire officials anxious about the wind-fueled fire's march west in the hills above Montecito. They also will work to improve existing fuel breaks in the areas of Windy Gap and the Santa Barbara foothills, while securing Gibraltar Road to halt the flames' westward progression.

It's an "abundance of caution", he said.

The Santa Barbara Police Department said its officers were able to arrest on Monday two wanted felons suspected of stealing fire gear from firefighters.

As wildfires continue to rage in the southern portion of the state, fire officials are hoping to end what might be described as a almost endless cycle by planning to set more controlled burns. Her dogs, she said, were in Palo Alto.

Crews at March Air Force Base east of Los Angeles have been working "around the clock to provide nearly 24 hours of near real time situational awareness", according to a Facebook post from the Ventura County Fire Department.

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