Thomas fire becomes largest in California recorded history


The Thomas Fire is now the largest wildfire in California's modern history after torching 273,400 acres.

Cal Fire says the flames have burned through 1,063 buildings and is just 65 percent contained after starting on December 4th.

The blaze has surpassed the size of the Cedar Fire near San Diego, which destroyed 273,246 acres in 2003, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire. Easing winds and lower temperatures have allowed workers to contain over 65 percent of the fire, and almost all of the mandatory evacuations in Santa Barbara County and Ventura County have been lifted.

After a 32-year-old firefighter from Cal Fire was killed during the the Snohomish County crew's deployment, Chad Berg of Snohomish Fire District 7 said his crew members had to contact their families to assure them that they were ok.

On Friday night, the Thomas Fire became the biggest wildfire in California since the state began keeping records in 1932.

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The Thomas Fire remains 65 percent contained.

Currently, there are more than 2,800 firefighters trying to put down the flames. Firefighters remain on standby ready to respond to any Thomas Fire flare-ups or new blazes in the area.

Conditions have improved in recent days, with cooler, more-humid winds lessening the threat to homes and other buildings, the AP reported. Damages have topped $10 billion, and that was before the current fires began in Southern California.

Only one firefighter has been lost to the massive fire, with San Diego firefighter Cory Iverson passing in early December.