Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Yahoo News Photo Staff

Firefighters on Tuesday hoped to take further control of a massive California wildfire, the fifth largest in the state’s history, as relentless wind gusts and bone-dry weather were expected to persist.

The blaze, known as the Thomas Fire, which has burned 231,700 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, grew but at a slower pace, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said.

Some of the other fires burning over the past week in San Diego and Los Angeles counties have been largely brought under control by the thousands of firefighters on the ground.

The Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County were both at least 90 percent contained, officials said, while the Skirball Fire in the exclusive Bel Air neighbourhood of Los Angeles was 85 percent contained.

North of San Diego, the 4,100-acre (1,660 hectare) Lilac Fire was 90 percent contained on Monday after destroying 151 structures. (Reuters)

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

<p>Two firefighters work at a fire spot in Carpinteria, Calif., Dec. 11, 2017. (Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Two firefighters work at a fire spot in Carpinteria, Calif., Dec. 11, 2017. (Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

<p>Dan Bellaart and his wife Mary McEwen comfort each other in the back yard of their home that includes an avocado ranch on 9 acres of land on Toro Canyon Rd. as the Thomas fire burns in the background on Dec., 11, 2017 in Montecito, Calif. They have lived here since 2002. (Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Dan Bellaart and his wife Mary McEwen comfort each other in the back yard of their home that includes an avocado ranch on 9 acres of land on Toro Canyon Rd. as the Thomas fire burns in the background on Dec., 11, 2017 in Montecito, Calif. They have lived here since 2002. (Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

<p>Firefighters knock down flames as they advance on homes atop Shepherd Mesa Road in Carpinteria, Calif on Dec. 10, 2017. (Photo: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Firefighters knock down flames as they advance on homes atop Shepherd Mesa Road in Carpinteria, Calif on Dec. 10, 2017. (Photo: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

<p>A helicopter drops water while trying to keep a wildfire from jumping Santa Ana Road near Ventura, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A helicopter drops water while trying to keep a wildfire from jumping Santa Ana Road near Ventura, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>Fire fighters attack the Thomas Fire’s north flank with backfires as they continue to fight a massive wildfire north of Los Angeles, near Ojai , Calif., Dec. 9, 2017. (Photo: Gene Blevins/Reuters) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Fire fighters attack the Thomas Fire’s north flank with backfires as they continue to fight a massive wildfire north of Los Angeles, near Ojai , Calif., Dec. 9, 2017. (Photo: Gene Blevins/Reuters)

<p>County fire hand crew member Nikolas Abele keeps an eye on a hillside for any stray embers during a firing operation in Santa Monica Canyon in Carpinteria, Calif., Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

County fire hand crew member Nikolas Abele keeps an eye on a hillside for any stray embers during a firing operation in Santa Monica Canyon in Carpinteria, Calif., Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

<p>A fire engine passes flames as a wildfire burns along Santa Ana Road near Ventura, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. ( Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A fire engine passes flames as a wildfire burns along Santa Ana Road near Ventura, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. ( Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>A hillside glows with embers as the Thomas fire burns through Los Padres National Forest near Ojai, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A hillside glows with embers as the Thomas fire burns through Los Padres National Forest near Ojai, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>An aircraft drops fire retardant as firefighters take advantage of light winds to attack the Lilac Fire, a fast moving wild fire in Bonsall, Calif., Dec. 8, 2017. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

An aircraft drops fire retardant as firefighters take advantage of light winds to attack the Lilac Fire, a fast moving wild fire in Bonsall, Calif., Dec. 8, 2017. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)

<p>Fire crews search for hot spots among destroyed homes in the Rancho Monserate Country Club community Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Fallbrook, Calif. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Fire crews search for hot spots among destroyed homes in the Rancho Monserate Country Club community Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Fallbrook, Calif. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

<p>A firefighter battles a wildfire in Ojai, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A firefighter battles a wildfire in Ojai, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>Palm trees sway in a gust of wind as a firefighter carries a water hose while battling a wildfire at Faria State Beach in Ventura, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Palm trees sway in a gust of wind as a firefighter carries a water hose while battling a wildfire at Faria State Beach in Ventura, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP)

<p>Flames consume a home as a wildfire burns in Ojai, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Flames consume a home as a wildfire burns in Ojai, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>Firefighters prepare to battle the Lilac fire in Bonsall, California on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Firefighters prepare to battle the Lilac fire in Bonsall, California on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A person bicycles as a section of the Thomas Fire burns on a bluff on Dec. 7, 2017 in La Conchita, Calif. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A person bicycles as a section of the Thomas Fire burns on a bluff on Dec. 7, 2017 in La Conchita, Calif. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

<p>Jeff Lipscomb assures his daughter Rachel Lipscomb, 11, that everything will be ok and that the family will pull through, as they survey their destroyed home after a brush fire on Dec. 6, 2017 in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Jeff Lipscomb assures his daughter Rachel Lipscomb, 11, that everything will be ok and that the family will pull through, as they survey their destroyed home after a brush fire on Dec. 6, 2017 in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

<p>A motorists on Highway 101 watches flames from the Thomas fire leap above the roadway north of Ventura, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A motorists on Highway 101 watches flames from the Thomas fire leap above the roadway north of Ventura, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>Members of the Reinhardt family sort through the remains of their family home after the Thomas wildfire swept through Ventura, California on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Members of the Reinhardt family sort through the remains of their family home after the Thomas wildfire swept through Ventura, California on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>The Thomas Fire burns along the Northbound 101 freeway on Dec. 6, 2017 in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

The Thomas Fire burns along the Northbound 101 freeway on Dec. 6, 2017 in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

<p>A mansion that survived a wildfire sits on a hilltop in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A mansion that survived a wildfire sits on a hilltop in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP)

<p>A family wears face masks as they walk through the smoke filled streets after the Thomas wildfire swept through Ventura, California on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A family wears face masks as they walk through the smoke filled streets after the Thomas wildfire swept through Ventura, California on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Heavy smoke covers Ventura as flames reach the coast during the Thomas wildfire near Ventura, California on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Heavy smoke covers Ventura as flames reach the coast during the Thomas wildfire near Ventura, California on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>The Thomas Fire reaches the Northbound 101 freeway north of Ventura Wednesday threatening beachfront homes on December 6, 2017 in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

The Thomas Fire reaches the Northbound 101 freeway north of Ventura Wednesday threatening beachfront homes on December 6, 2017 in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

<p>Los Angeles firefighters battle to contain flames to a home on fire and prevent the fire’s spread to adjoining properties in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Reed Saxon/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Los Angeles firefighters battle to contain flames to a home on fire and prevent the fire’s spread to adjoining properties in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Reed Saxon/AP)

<p>Vehicles pass beside a wall of flames on the 101 highway as it reaches the coast during the Thomas wildfire near Ventura, California on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Vehicles pass beside a wall of flames on the 101 highway as it reaches the coast during the Thomas wildfire near Ventura, California on Dec. 6, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Bree Laubacher pauses while sifting through rubble at her Ventura, Calif., home following a wildfire on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. A barbecue smoker and her son’s batting cage survived the blaze. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Bree Laubacher pauses while sifting through rubble at her Ventura, Calif., home following a wildfire on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. A barbecue smoker and her son’s batting cage survived the blaze. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>Homes stand along the beach as the sun is visible through thick smoke from a wildfire Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Homes stand along the beach as the sun is visible through thick smoke from a wildfire Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP)

<p>Firefighters battle a Santa Ana wind-driven brush fire called the Thomas Fire near Ventura, Calif., Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Gene Blevins/Reuters) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Firefighters battle a Santa Ana wind-driven brush fire called the Thomas Fire near Ventura, Calif., Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Gene Blevins/Reuters)

<p>Michael and Vonea McQuillam stand beside their house that was burnt to the ground during the Thomas wildfire in Ventura, Calif., on Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Michael and Vonea McQuillam stand beside their house that was burnt to the ground during the Thomas wildfire in Ventura, Calif., on Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A firefighter puts water on a palm tree in the back of a house on Rancho Vista Lane in Santa Paula, Calif., on Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Neal Waters via ZUMA Wire) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A firefighter puts water on a palm tree in the back of a house on Rancho Vista Lane in Santa Paula, Calif., on Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Neal Waters via ZUMA Wire)

<p>Smoke from the Creek wildfire in the San Gabriel Mountains, the second range behind the Hollywood Hills, home of the Hollywood sign, looms up over Los Angeles Tuesday morning, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Reed Saxon/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Smoke from the Creek wildfire in the San Gabriel Mountains, the second range behind the Hollywood Hills, home of the Hollywood sign, looms up over Los Angeles Tuesday morning, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Reed Saxon/AP)

<p>Flames from a wildfire advance down a hillside near the Springs of Life Church in Casitas Springs, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Flames from a wildfire advance down a hillside near the Springs of Life Church in Casitas Springs, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>James and Josie Ralstin carry belongings from their Ventura, Calif., home as flames from a wildfire consume another residence on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

James and Josie Ralstin carry belongings from their Ventura, Calif., home as flames from a wildfire consume another residence on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>Firefighters work to put out a blaze burning homes early Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Ryan Cullom/Ventura County Fire Department via AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Firefighters work to put out a blaze burning homes early Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Ryan Cullom/Ventura County Fire Department via AP)

<p>A house engulfed in flames as the Creek Fire burns in Los Angeles, California on Dec. 5, 2017. The raging fire fueled by strong Santa Ana winds has burned more than 11,000 acres and caused the evacuation of 115,000 residents. (Photo: Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A house engulfed in flames as the Creek Fire burns in Los Angeles, California on Dec. 5, 2017. The raging fire fueled by strong Santa Ana winds has burned more than 11,000 acres and caused the evacuation of 115,000 residents. (Photo: Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

<p>Local residents react as numerous homes burn on a hillside during a wind driven wildfire in Ventura, Calif., Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Local residents react as numerous homes burn on a hillside during a wind driven wildfire in Ventura, Calif., Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)

<p>John Bain and Brandon Baker take cover from the embers as they try to help stop a fire from burning a stranger’s home on December 5, 2017 in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

John Bain and Brandon Baker take cover from the embers as they try to help stop a fire from burning a stranger’s home on December 5, 2017 in Ventura, Calif. (Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

<p>Flames rise near a home as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Jae Hong/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Flames rise near a home as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Jae Hong/AP)

<p>A skateboarder passes a smoldering home as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

A skateboarder passes a smoldering home as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

<p>Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Dreifuss via AP) </p>
Wildfires in Southern California force thousands to flee

Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 as a wildfire burns in Ventura, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Dreifuss via AP)

What to Read Next