Deadly Thomas Fire continues to expand west as blaze enters 11th day

FILLMORE, Calif. (KABC) -- The deadly Thomas Fire continues to expand westward as the massive blaze enters its 11th day.

The fire expanded by 3,000 acres overnight. As of Friday morning, the fire had charred 252,500 acres and was 35 percent contained.

Firefighters were concerned that flames were going to reach a home in Fillmore, but the fire appeared to be inching away from the area in the westward direction Friday morning.

The winds began picking up some speed as the sun came up. A red flag warning was expected to expire Friday morning, though a fire weather watch will be in place for most of the Southland until Sunday evening.

Forecasters say this is the longest run of red flag warnings they can remember in Southern California.

MORE: Latest Southern California forecast

In Santa Barbara, the firefight will focus on the western side of the fire above the coastal communities in Santa Barbara County. The blaze continues to threaten the communities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito and surrounding areas.

In Ventura County, fire crews will continue to engage in suppressing active and small spot fires around the southeastern portion of the fire's perimeter.

VIDEO: Aerial footage shows before-and-after look at destruction from Thomas Fire

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This satellite view from SkyMap7 shows the devastation from the Thomas Fire to this Ventura neighborhood.

In the Fillmore area, mandatory evacuations were ordered for the following areas: Hall Road to the west, Sespe Creek to the east, the Los Padres National Forest boundary to the north, and the Fillmore city limits to the south. Voluntary evacuations were ordered for Goodenough Road.

Cal Fire officials on Thursday described the Thomas Fire as the fourth largest wildfire in California history.

Since the inferno erupted in Santa Paula on Dec. 4, the blaze has destroyed 972 structures, damaged 218 others and threatens 18,000 more.

PHOTOS: Thomas Fire devastates Ventura County

The fire claimed the life of a firefighter on Thursday. The firefighter was identified as Cal Fire San Diego Unit Fire Apparatus Engineer Cory Iverson, according to Cal Fire Director Chief Ken Pimlott.

Iverson was 32 years old and is survived by his wife, Ashley, and 2-year-old daughter Evie. Iverson's wife is currently expecting their second daughter, Pimlott said.

Iverson, who had been with Cal Fire since 2009, had been fighting the Thomas Fire since it first erupted.

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