Although a cold front as well as calmer winds have helped aid firefighters, the massive Thomas fire in Southern California today ranks as the state’s largest-ever wildfire, Cal Fire said late Friday.
The flames have charred at least 273,400 acres, or more than 427 square miles. in which’s slightly above the previous wildfire record of 273,246 acres via the 2003 Cedar blaze in San Diego.
“The Thomas Fire can be today the largest wildfire in recorded California history,” Cal Fire spokesman Brandon Vaccaro told CNBC late Friday. “The weather has been extremely cooperative, except for some winds we had earlier This specific week in which were not bad.”
As of Friday evening, the Thomas fire was 65 percent contained.
If the weather continues to cooperate, firefighters may be able to mop up the remaining portions of the wildfire shortly after Christmas, Vaccaro said. in which might end the most destructive as well as deadly wildfire season in California history.
Just over 2,800 fire personnel were fighting the blaze as of Friday evening, down via about 4,400 crew on Thursday as well as well below the more than 8,000 firefighters on the lines last week.
There have been at least two fatalities related to the Thomas blaze, including a Cal Fire engineer killed last week on the fire lines.
Thousands of residents in Santa Barbara as well as Ventura counties were forced to evacuate due to the fire, although officials lifted the orders over the weekend in many areas.
More than 1,000 homes as well as various other buildings were destroyed. The fire didn’t discriminate, burning mobile homes as well as middle-class neighborhoods in Ventura County as well as multimillion-dollar estates inside upscale Montecito area of Santa Barbara County.
Also, Ventura County agriculture officials say the fire consumed farms with avocados as well as report there also was a significant impact on local livestock operators, as grazing land was scorched. Some local beekeeping businesses, who supply bees to farms for pollination, also suffered extensive losses.
The fire started off Dec. 4 near the city of Santa Paula in Ventura County. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.