Published: Tue, December 26, 2017
Markets | By Josh Butler

Largest California fire not expected to spread as winds subside

Largest California fire not expected to spread as winds subside

One firefighter and one civilian have died during the Thomas Fire.

The Thomas Fire, which charred 273,400 acres, is now the largest wildfire in California history, according to Cal Fire.

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.

Above: The perimeter of the 427-square-mile fire overlaid on the Bay Area.

A unified command comprised of CAL FIRE, Ventura County Fire, Los Padres National Forest and Ventura City Fire reports that the Thomas Fire has burned 273,400 acres and is 78% contained.

The fire previously topped Cal Fire's list of the top 20 largest wildfires in California, the oldest entry on which dates to 1932.

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The Thomas Fire has burned about 150 more acres than the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County that killed 15 people.

It was 70% contained as of Saturday evening, with almost 1,600 firefighters working to put it out, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

OR sent the largest out-of-state group of personnel to help combat the fire, which started on December 4. It started in Ventura County and has been moving across Santa Barbara County.

A newly planted tree also survived the fire. Residents on Highway 33 between Rose Valley north to Hartman Ranch remain under a voluntary evacuation warning due to fire activity in the nearby areas. 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.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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