California hills appear to be covered with lava in apocalyptic scenes as wildfires grow to five times the size of DC and 8,000 firefighters battle to contain them

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
By Paul Martin

Almost apocalyptic image appears to show hills near Montecito covered in lava as Thomas fire keeps raging
Officials handed out masks to those who stayed behind in the exclusive community, about 75 miles from LA
The fire is one of several burning around the state and has burned over 900 buildings across 250,000 acres

13 December 2017

Hills near Montecito appeared to be covered in lava last night as the catastrophic wildfires raging across California continue to expand.

In photographs taken by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department as it battled to push back the flames near Romero Canyon, the ridges seem to resemble an erupting volcano.

Officials handed out masks to those who stayed behind in Montecito, an exclusive community about 75 miles from Los Angeles that’s home to stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and Drew Barrymore.

Actor Rob Lowe was among residents who evacuated over the weekend.

The haunting, almost apocalyptic was captured as the Golden State struggles to cope with the one of the biggest infernos in its history.

The so-called Thomas fire, one of several burning around the state, has burned over 900 structures, at least 700 of them homes. Another 18,000 buildings are under threat.

It has stretched across nearly 370 square miles of territory, consuming 236,000 acres, making it the fifth largest in state history. It is now over five times the size of the District of Columbia, which is 68 square miles.

Over 7,800 firefighters are working to hold back the blaze, which has now been 25 per cent contained.

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