Carpinteria area not spared as Thomas Fire expands its lethal reach

Crews battle the Thomas Fire on Sunday, December 10, 2017, in southern California. (George Romero/KSNV)

The Thomas Fire exploded in size overnight, spanning across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

More than 600 homes have burned, but fire crews continue to work tirelessly to contain the flames.

Despite the enormity of the fire, they were able to protect most of the homes in the Carpinteria area, except one. It was still burning more than 12 hours later.

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Crystal Germanetti was in the process of gathering her belongings and getting ready to evacuate, when she stopped to watch the flames inch closer.

"Seeing it right now, it's terrifying," she said. "We're ready to go at a moment’s notice."

All eyes were on the mountain as the fire inched closer. Inside the canyon, crews mounted an enormous effort to contain the fast-moving fire. They doused homes and landscape, trying to prevent any more losses.

Despite the danger just up the road, Louis Thompson chose to stay.

"I wasn't going to leave," he said. "We're protected really good."

He pointed out the sprinklers on his roof and the cleared brush around his home.

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"If you notice, ours is clear," he said.

Still, he said he watched the fire creep closer and closer.

"They actually built a fire break the length up there,” he said. “They worked on it for two days. It lasted about five minutes."

Now that hillside is charred from the fire, but most of the homes were spared.

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