SANTA BARBARA, California. – The Latest on forest fires in California (all times are local):
Officials say the massive wildfire in California is fighting since the beginning of December is now the third largest in the state of the history, with 259,000 acres (405 square miles) burned so far and flames only 40 percent contained.
In terms of area consumed, the fire, which began on Dec. 4 now exceeds the devastating Rim Fire in 2013 by 2,000 acres.
Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority says the region has had “red flag” terms for an unprecedented 13 consecutive days. Red flag conditions are at low relative humidity combined with gusty, strong wind.
Concialdi said: “As of this morning, we are in 259,000 acres and still growing.”
The fourth largest forest fire in the history of California continues to grow and threatens thousands of homes, despite the armies of the fire department and fleets of bulldozers and aircraft.
The blaze northwest of Los Angeles, grew by 3,000 acres overnight, and although Santa Ana winds eased on Friday, they are expected to return with a vengeance at the weekend. And the fire is so large that the wind on the one hand, can be gustier than those on the other side.
The 11-day-old Thomas fire flows through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties had eaten about 400 square miles of brush and wood and burned more than 1,000 buildings, including more than 750 homes.
He also claimed that the life of a firefighter Thursday.
Other than 18.000 buildings are still in danger, including homes in the wealthy enclave of Montecito.
The fire is only 35 percent surrounded, despite the efforts of around 8,000 firefighters, 32 helicopters and 78 bulldozers.