Thomas Fire containment reported at 86 percent

26 December, 2017, 10:25 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Plumes of smoke continue to move through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties as the Thomas Fire continues to burn through the areas on Sunday Dec. 10 2017

Fire officials in Southern California now consider the deadly Thomas Fire to be the second largest in the state's history.

The fire is the largest blaze in modern California history. During that same period in 2016, the state firefighting agency reported 4,759 fires that burned 244,304 acres.

Cause of the blaze, which began near Thomas Aquinas College north of Santa Paula, remained under investigation amid reports that investigators were looking at Southern California Edison Co equipment.

Often erratic gusts combined with extremely low humidity - it dropped to just 1 percent on some days - pushed the blaze with virtually unprecedented speed, blackening more ground in weeks than other fires had consumed in a month or more. Credit: Incident Management Team.

More news: National Weather Service issues high wind advisory

The firefighters at the Thomas fire base camp had a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus on Christmas Eve morning, with the Ventura County Fire Department sharing a group picture. That area is still shown as uncontrolled on the Team's map.

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.

Cal Fire maintains a list of the top twenty (in acreage burned) California wildfires. Most fire suppression activity is now on National Forest System lands. The Thomas fire had already burned an area larger than Manhattan but has spread to an area larger than "New York City, Washington, DC, and San Francisco combined" according to CNN.

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

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