>> The Thomas Fire raged closer to the upscale town of Montecito on Tuesday as the state's fifth largest wildfire on record burned for an eighth straight day. A break in the hot, dry Santa Ana winds on Tuesday sapped some of the fire's momentum but officials warn the fire's fast paced and unrelenting strength could return at any moment.
Cal Fire Captain Steve Concialdi.>> As it burned down to some beautiful homes, you could see where the homes that have a lot of defensible space are spared. There's fires that burned right up to it and that's what we're asking the residents. Make sure you have defensible space, have a plan when we ask you to evacuate.
It's for you own safety.>> Nearly 7,000 firefighters are battling the blaze which has destroyed almost 900 structures and threatens thousands more. The blaze has already burned more than 366 square miles, an area larger than New York City. In town, weary residents are trying to get by the best they can as they wait for the fire to finish.
Frank Palmieri of Santa Barbara has lived in the area for 25 years.>> This one, I think, has surpassed all of those other experiences in terms of the devastation, the impact it's had on the area, and the air has just been phenomenal.>> The inferno was 20% contained as of Tuesday.