The Thomas Fire Is Now The Biggest In California's History

26 December, 2017, 10:27 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • Image Mike Eliason Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties is now the largest wildfire ever recorded in California.

The Thomas fire took only 2 ½ weeks to burn its way into history books as unrelenting winds and parched weather turned everything in its path to tinder - including more than 700 homes.

The Cedar fire had been recognized as the biggest California wildfire in terms of acreage since 1932.

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"The Thomas fire has experienced a long duration Santa Ana wind event, which began on December 4th, and has contributed to rapid growth and extreme fire behavior", officials from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group posted online. Firefighters have been battling the flames for almost three weeks in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and are expected to continue working around the clock until January 7, fire officials said.

The fire has charred an area of about 415 square miles, or about 272,000 acres so far. During their time in California, the firefighters dug control lines and put out spot fires. Temperatures are expected to reach the low- to mid-70s next week in Santa Barbara.

By that point, firefighters already were beginning to take advantage of a lull in the weather. The blaze continued to threaten communities from Ventura to Montecito last week, when the last of the evacuation centers finally closed. By Friday it was at 65 percent containment. Thanks to shorter days and a lack of strong winds the Incident Management Team does not expect any additional significant spread of the fire, other than strategic burning to secure the fire edge.

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