Firefighters monitor a section of the Thomas Fire along the 101 freeway on December 7, 2017 north of Ventura, California.
(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.
#ThomasFire [final] north of Santa Paula (Ventura and Santa Barbara County) per @LosPadresNF is now 100% contained at 281,893 acres. https://t.co/y0Mk3zmzH8 pic.twitter.com/6LyjWKpcAy— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) January 12, 2018
#ThomasFire [final] north of Santa Paula (Ventura and Santa Barbara County) per @LosPadresNF is now 100% contained at 281,893 acres. https://t.co/y0Mk3zmzH8 pic.twitter.com/6LyjWKpcAy
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.
RELATED: Cal Fire: San Diego firefighter killed in Thomas Fire was trapped by flames
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.
RELATED: $75,000 in property stolen during Thomas Fire evacuations