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Celebrities flee seaside enclave amid threat from California wildfires

A growing Southern California wildfire is threatening the wealthy seaside enclave of Montecito, where celebrities have evacuated estates perched on hillsides below heavy flames.

Smoke shrouded Rob Lowe's home and the actor wore a mask as he livestreamed his family leaving.

Lowe thanked fans on Instagram for their thoughts and expressed gratitude for firefighters, saying "we need you!"

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres said on Twitter that neighbours were helping each other and their animals get to safety.

She said she was proud to be a part of the small, exclusive community in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles.

Retired tennis star Jimmy Connors tweeted that his property was in danger.

Many residents of Montecito and neighboring Carpinteria not under evacuation orders have opted to leave because of heavy smoke and ash blowing through.

Crews aided by calm overnight winds kept a wall of flames from descending from mountains into coastal towns.

Officials say the blaze, which broke out a week ago in neighboring Ventura County, is now the fifth largest in California history.

AP

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