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#PrayforCalifornia Trends Across Twitter as Southern California's Thomas Fire Grows

( [email protected] ) Dec 11, 2017 12:51 PM EST
Southern California's Thomas fire grew by more than 50,000 acres on Sunday, making it the fifth-largest wildfire in the state's history - and it may to continue to spread, fire officials have warned.
Firefighters light backfire while trying to keep a wildfire from jumping Santa Ana Rd. near Ventura, Calif. AP Photo

Southern California's Thomas fire grew by more than 50,000 acres on Sunday, making it the fifth-largest wildfire in the state's history - and it may to continue to spread, fire officials have warned.

The blaze, the largest of five wildfires currently burning in California, surged into the Santa Barbara County foothills on Sunday, forcing evacuations in the coastal communities of Carpinteria and Montecito. While the fire grew slightly weaker Monday, authorities warned it's still a threat to the coastal regions of Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito.

"Wind was probably not the biggest factor last night to this morning - it's probably more the complex terrain, very dry and possibly widespread fuels for the fire and the fact that it's a pretty large and ongoing fire," said Robbie Munroe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Currently, the fire is 15% contained, according to the LA Times. The blaze had charred at least 230,000 acres by Sunday evening, damaging hundreds of homes and buildings and and prompting new mandatory evacuation orders for about 5,000 residents in Santa Barbara County.

Overall, the state has spent more than $34 million on efforts to suppress the Thomas fire, ABC News reports.

Jerry Brown, the Democratic governor of California, has blamed climate change for the fires and accused President Donald Trump of courting "the wrath of God."

"I don't think President Trump has a fear of the Lord, the fear of the wrath of God, which leads one to more humility ... this is such a reckless disregard for the truth and for the existential consequences that can be unleashed," Brown said, according to The Hill.

During the interview, Brown also called on Trump to re-evaluate his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

"The truth of the case is that there's too much carbon being emitted, that heat-trapping gasses are building up, the planet is warming and all hell is breaking loose. So I'd say to Mr. Trump, take a deeper look. Now is not the time to undo what every country in the world is committed to," he said.

On Twitter, hundreds urged prayers for the state using the hashtag #PrayforCalifornia.

"Please continue to pray. Thank you. California wildfires now larger than New York City and Boston combined," tweeted Church of God Ministries.

Popular worship leader Israel Houghton asked for prayer as he and his wife, television host Adrienne Bailon received notification from officials to evacuate from their Bel-Air home.

"Praying for everyone in the Los Angeles area fires," Houghton wrote on an Instagram story post along with a news clipping of a Los Angeles Times article about the fast-moving wildfires presently engulfing California.

"We were just notified that our area is beginning evacuations. Please say a prayer for Adrienne Bailon and me, thank you," he asked.

Actress Roma Downey wrote: "The winds are still strong. Dear God please keep our brave men and women of the fire department and emergency services safe as they battle these fires in the area. Bless all your people in these neighborhoods and protect them please their families, their homes and their pets. Lord please hear our prayers."

Roma Downey
(Photo : Instagram)
On Instagram, Roma Downey urged prayers for the victims of the wildfires.

Tags : California wildfire, wildfires, southern california fires, California wildfire update, #PrayforCalifornia