California wildfire is now the largest in recorded history


The Thomas fire, which burned hundreds of homes in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties this month, on Friday became California's largest wildfire on record, burning 273,400 acres.

The Thomas fire was 65 percent contained as of Friday evening and the natural spread of the blaze had been virtually halted days ago by fire crew, they said.

That was 154 acres larger than the 2003 Cedar fire in San Diego that killed 15 people.

The fire consumed tens of thousands of acres a day in its first week but is now nibbling up vegetation at a relatively slow pace - 288 acres on Wednesday, 770 on Thursday.

Deadline adds that the Thomas fire threatened celebrity havens Montecito and Santa Barbara, with almost 100,000 evacuated and a slew of famous names showing gratitude to firefighters battling the blaze and trying to save the area.

Up to 300 firefighters are trudging along the edge of the fire as it moves southeast along a creek toward the larger blaze. Iverson, who was stationed out of San Diego, has local ties to the Mother Lode, as back in 2015 he was based at the Columbia Air Attack and drove a Heli-tender truck.

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The fire has destroyed over 1,000 structures as it has scorched coastal mountains, foothills and canyons across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties northwest of Los Angeles, officials said.

After multiple wind events during the week, the National Weather Service is forecasting mostly sunny weather on Sunday and Christmas Day, with calm winds around 5 miles per hour.

The improving conditions allowed officials to lift many evacuation orders on Thursday.

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

A dolphin statue is seen at a property destroyed by the Thomas Fire in Carpintera California as residents were taking stock of the catastrophic damage. The fire is predicted to reach full containment on January 7, 2018.