Largest Blaze on State Records Expected to Be Contained as Winds Subside

California fires 'burn way into history,' largest in state so far

Strong winds, steep terrain and low humidity made it hard for firefighters to gain the upper hand on the fire as it moved through parts of Ojai, Casitas Springs and La Conchita.

Southern California's 20-day Thomas Fire has now scorched an estimated 427 square miles, making it the largest wildfire in the state's history.

Earlier this week 300 Oregon firefighters deployed to California through the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal came home and were demobilized. The Thomas Fire began December 4 and no cause has yet been determined. That was 154 acres larger than California's previous fire record holder, the 2003 Cedar fire in San Diego County.

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The fire is now 86 percent contained, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, but there are still many workers on the job, ready to jump into action if there are flare-ups.

"Hotspots remain in the Bear Heaven area", Cal Fire said in its 6:10 p.m. report Sunday. It started in Ventura County and has been moving across Santa Barbara County.

"Those (other) fires burned for weeks and weeks and this fire is only a few weeks old", he said.

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By Thursday, most of the southern end of the fire also was surrounded and the last mandatory evacuation orders were called off. 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.

As of Friday night, the blaze was only 65% contained. "Any growth that we see or is reflected in the acreage will be based on the control burns".

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