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Southern California Thomas Brand faces calmer winds, aggressive attack by the fire brigade

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Southern California Thomas Fire rages on after 2 weeks

Adam Housley reports on the latest efforts to the massive eruption.

One of the largest wildfires in California history, continued to threaten the coastal communities on Monday as fire crews hoped to take advantage of a two-day window of calmer winds for potentially dangerous winds were expected to return mid-week.

More than 8,500 firefighters continue to battle the Thomas Fire in the South of California, which has burned for two weeks and killed one firefighter, destroyed more than 1,000 structures and threatened, 18,000 more northwest of Los Angeles.

Firefighters on Sunday were able to take advantage of calmer winds to keep the flames of the state, the third-largest blaze usually away from neighborhoods in the wealthy enclave of Montecito in Santa Barbara County.

On this Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire department, flames burning in the vicinity of overhead power lines in Sycamore Canyon in the vicinity of West Mountain Drive in Montecito, California.

(Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire department via AP)

“The fire is burning in open country now, away from homes, and that is exactly where we want,” Capt. Rick Crawford, a Cal Fire spokesman told the Los Angeles Times.

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire, a Bombardier 415 Super Scooper makes a water drop on a hot spots along the hillside to the east of Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara, California, Sunday morning, Dec. 17, 2017.

(Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire department via AP)

Crawford said cooler temperatures, slightly higher humidity and light winds forecast for Monday and Tuesday are “critical” for firefighters in the hope to make progress against the blaze. The warm, gusty wind that caused a huge flare-up and more forced evacuations in the weekend are expected to return on Wednesday.

Evacuation orders remain for large parts of Santa Barbara County, including the hill communities of Montecito and Summerland, according to FOX 11.

SANTA ANA WINDS: WHAT ARE THEY?

The fire has raged 270,500 acres so far, an area larger than New York City and about the size of the Hawaiian island of Maui, and it is about 45 percent contained.

The blaze crested a peak just north of Montecito, where evacuation orders remained in effect. Known to the star power of the enclave, including the homes of Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and many other celebrities.

Actor Rob Lowe offered his sincere thanks to the firemen battling the blaze, even where they have the dinner on Sunday.

Thank you to the crew from across the country, which stood high and stored in my city. #respect #grateful

A post shared by Rob Lowe (@robloweofficial) on december 17, 2017 at 5:49pm PST

“Thank you to all crews from all corners of the country, which stood high and saved in my city,” he posted on Instagram.

Dinner for new friends in our house.

A post shared by Rob Lowe (@robloweofficial) on december 17, 2017 at 9:24pm PST

The scenes of celebration was in contrast to that of the mourner, who stood on the highway overpasses on Sunday to pay respects to firefighter Cory Iverson, 32, died on Thursday from burns and smoke inhalation. His funeral procession was scheduled to wind through five provinces of Southern California and ending up at a funeral home in San Diego, where he was based on a state fire engine strike team. He is survived by his pregnant wife and a 2-year-old daughter.

Rest In Peace Cory Iverson. Very powerful witness of fellow firefighters and the community along the streets and overpasses. ??@CALFIRESANDIEGO pic.twitter.com/lNjaxC9y0Q

— Kelly Mobile (@kellytvnews) 17 December 2017

The Thomas Fire is also the fault of the Dec. 6 the death of a 70-year-old woman who died in a car accident on an evacuation route.

THOMAS FIRE IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA JOINS LIST OF DESTRUCTIVE BLOOMS IN THE STATE

Some evacuation orders were lifted Sunday for the east in Ventura County, where the fire broke out, and officials reported progress in the protection of the inland agricultural town of Fillmore.

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire department, the U. S. Forest Service Hot Shot crew members of Ojai, California., head down a fire break from E. Camino Cielo in Santa Barbara, California, Sunday morning, Dec. 17, 2017.

(Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire department via AP)

In the City of Ventura, They were Dashing back to his neighborhood to find his house still standing amid widespread destruction. He told KABC-TV that at the height of the fire, when it turned out that his home would be lost, firefighters risked their own safety to retrieve his belongings.

“She broke down and she saved my family photos,” said Holden, wiping away tears.

The cause of the Thomas Fire is still under investigation. So far, firefighting costs more than $117 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

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