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

Local firefighters return home after battling catastrophic California wildfires

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

Crews are continuing to patrol the fire lines along the front country above Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria, and on Camino Cielo on the ridge of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

The southern boundary of the fire from Santa Barbara to Ventura is contained and secure.

2017 has been a record year for California wildfires, and this holiday season, the Thomas wildfire in the southern parts of the state has become the largest fire recorded in state history. With no strong winds helping the fire spread, firefighters expect to be able to contain the fire heading into Christmas Day.

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This year has been the costliest for wildfires in U.S. history.

Meanwhile, the Creek fire, which has scorched more than 15,000 acres east of Sylmar, is nearing 100% containment, officials said.

The fire previously topped Cal Fire's list of the top 20 largest wildfires in California, the oldest entry on which dates to 1932. That area is still shown as uncontrolled on the Team's map.

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Santa and Mrs. Claus visit with firefighters on the Thomas Fire on Christmas Eve.

Saturday at 6:00 p.m. responsibilities were transferred to California Interagency Incident Management Team 3 under the leadership of Incident Commander Mark Von Tillow.

The Thomas Fire is now even larger than the 2003 Cedar Fire, which burned 273,246 acres. Most fire suppression activity is now on National Forest System lands. Evacuations were ordered for a few days, and then lifted Thursday. Though no forward progress on the fire is expected, fire officials say fuels in the burn area remain "critically dry".

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Map of the Thomas Fire, December 23, 2017, by the Incident Management Team.

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