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Colossal Thomas Fire now 4th largest in California history

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Forest fires in southern California now 25 percent contained

236,000 hectares to the fires in Ventura County.

SANTA BARBARA, California. – The massive wildfire burning northwest of Los Angeles was the fourth largest in the history of California and the authorities said that it would probably continue to grow and threatening communities in warm, strong winds fanned the flames.

State officials said Thursday that the so-called Thomas Brand, cross-border coastal Ventura and Santa Barbara counties covered 379 square kilometers. More than a glow that burned in the interior of Santa Barbara County a decade ago.

Some evacuations were lifted, and the risks for the agricultural town of Fillmore was on the decline. But the coastal enclaves to the west remained under threat as the crew protected hill homes in Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria.

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire department, the pockets of unburned vegetation flare up from Bella Vista Dr. in Montecito, California., Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.

(Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire department via AP)

Schools were closed and many roads remained shut down. The USA Water Polo Women’s National Team match against the Netherlands scheduled for Saturday in Santa Barbara was moved to Orange County.

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire department, the fire department, to keep an eye on the fire as the pockets of unburned vegetation flare up from Bella Vista Dr. in Montecito, California., Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.

(Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire department via AP)

The National Weather Service said the extreme fire danger conditions could last through the weekend due to lack of moisture along with an expected increase in the wind speed. Gusts were expected to top 35 km / h by midday Thursday.

THOMAS FIRE IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA JOINS LIST OF DESTRUCTIVE BLOOMS IN THE STATE

Firefighters made some progress Wednesday on the control of the fire continued to spread, especially in national forest land.

In this photo released by the Santa Barbara County Fire department, a dozer of the Santa Barbara County Fire department clears the fire to break in a canyon from above Camino Cielo down to Gibraltar to make a stand should the fire move in that direction, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, in the Santa Ynez Mountains area of Santa Barbara, California.

(Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire department via AP)

Since the fire broke out on Dec. 4, it has been destroyed in 970 buildings — including at least 700 homes. Flames threatened some 18,000 buildings and prompted evacuations of about 100,000 people. With a surface area of more land than the city of San Diego, it was 30 percent contained.

To the south in San Diego County, firefighters came very close with a other important wildfire a week after the outbreak of.

That fire burned 157 structures, the most in the devastating first hour. Also killed 46 race horses at a training center, and left one of their trainers with serious burns.

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