Thomas Fire becomes largest wildfire in California history

Thomas Fire on track to become CA's largest fire
Thomas Fire on track to become CA's largest fire
Posted at 8:28 AM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 21:41:46-05

(KGTV) - The Thomas Fire surpassed San Diego County's 2003 Cedar Fire Friday to become the largest fire in California history, fire officials warned.

The blaze has scorched more than 273,400 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties since it erupted on Dec. 4. Strong Santa Ana winds, brushy regions formed from lack of rainfall, and dry conditions have complicated efforts to down flames.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Thomas Fire coverage map and info

Cal Fire expected full containment by Jan. 7, 2018.

Over the past week, firefighters have managed to double their containment of the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire has led to two deaths, including the death of Cal Fire San Diego engineer Cory Iverson last week.

RELATED: Cal Fire San Diego firefighter Cory Iverson dies battling Thomas Fire

The Thomas Fire has also destroyed roughly 1,000 structures. The Cedar Fire burned 2,820 but October's Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County was the most damaging, with 5,643 structures destroyed.CNN reported the Thomas Fire has burned a larger area than New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco combined.

RELATED: $75,000 in property stolen during Thomas Fire evacuations


Acres & containment: 273,400 acres, 65% contained as of Friday night; Cal Fire estimates the cost to fight the fire at more than $167 million.

Damages: 1063 structures destroyed, 280 damaged. Officials say at least 18,000 structures are still threatened.

Evacuations: Latest Santa Barbara County information | Latest Ventura County information

Personnel: 2,841 personnel involved in the firefighting effort.

Equipment: 274 fire engines, 26 helicopters, 45 water tenders, 26 dozers, 126 hand crews.