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The Latest: Hardly active, California wildfire nears record

VENTURA, California. – The Latest on Southern California large wildfire (all times are local):

9:47 pm

The huge oil slick that burned hundreds of homes northwest of Los Angeles this month is within 500 acres (202 hectares) to the largest on record in California.

Despite the minimal activity, the so-called Thomas Brand, increased in size to 272,800 hectares (110,400 hectares) as of Friday morning.

The state’s largest fire on record burned 273,246 acres (110,581 ha) in San Diego County in October 2003.

The Thomas Fire destroyed more than 1,000 structures as it raged through Ventura and Santa Barbara county. It is now 65 percent contained and all mandatory evacuations have been lifted.

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12:42 pm

The worst appears to be over for a huge forest fire that plagued a broad swath of the Southern California coast for 2 ½ weeks.

But a small handful of the evacuation orders for the fire was blown off by Thursday. At the height of the fire drove about 100,000 people from their homes. Now only a remote desert valley is under an evacuation order.

The so-called Thomas Brand, could very well still become the largest forest fire in the history of California, but as a gentle giant, not a ferocious beast.

Officials say that the only visible flame was on the northern side of the fire where a controlled burn set by firefighters to clear vegetation were carried out.

The fire is responsible for two deaths and destroyed 750 homes.

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