(KGTV) – The largest wildfire in California history was declared fully contained Friday after a 38-day battle.
U.S. Forest Service officials said the Thomas Fire, which erupted Dec. 4 and burned nearly 282,000 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, was 100 percent contained as of Friday.
Fire officials initially expected full containment on Jan. 20.
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) January 12, 2018
Fueled by strong Santa Ana winds and dry conditions due to lack of rainfall, the Thomas Fire forced thousands of evacuations and destroyed over 1,000 structures.
Cal Fire estimated the cost to fight the fire at more than $167 million.
The Cedar Fire in San Diego County was previously the largest fire in state history, having burned 273,246 acres in 2003.