Rob Lowe shows his gratitude to Southern California firefighters during wildfires

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Monday was the first of a two-day window of calm winds in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties where the so-called Thomas Fire has burned for two weeks.

Monday saw a significant landmark reached, with 50% of the fire contained.

The Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties might be out of sight, but it's certainly not out of mind among South Bay residents.

"It's nice to have a couple of days in a row where we've had good progress", Brown said.

The California National Guard were deployed to support the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and other state agencies responding to the wildfires, according to the US Department of Defense.

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Meteorologists have forecast weaker winds, cooler temperatures and the rise of humidity through Tuesday. There are now 8,452 personnel battling the blaze, which is expected to be contained by January 7. The current record is held by the 2003 Cedar Fire, which killed 15 people and charred just over 273,000 acres in San Diego.

The fire also is now the third-most destructive in structure losses, with more than 1,000 buildings burned, according to Cal Fire.

About $110 million has been spent fighting the massive blaze, fire officials said.

On Friday, the main firefighting effort was to keep the fires from spreading to California's most populated regions. Evacuation orders remain in place for Montecito and Summerland, but some orders were lifted Firefighters say the Santa Ana winds flared up over the weekend, driving the flames toward Montecito and destroying at least three homes there.

People can call the Santa Barbara County Thomas Fire help line at 805.681.5542 with questions about evacuations, transportation assistance for evacuating, or to talk to a counselor, said Suzanne Grimmesey of the Behavioral Wellness Department.

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