Thomas Fire, California's Largest On Record, Is Now 100 Percent Contained

Angelo Anderson
January 13, 2018

Federal response teams are assessing areas within the burn to identify additional locations at risk for flooding, debris flows and other post-fire hazards.They will turn in their data to the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management and Ventura County Office of Emergency Services, who will develop emergency preparedness and response plans.

Following the beginning of the Thomas Fire, local community partners determined that the United Way organizations, in both counties, are uniquely positioned and qualified to manage the disaster fund, accept contributions, make distributions, promote the fund and provide a report to the community on how the funds were used. When there is no further threat of a fire jumping a containment line, it's considered controlled - at that point, the fire fight is over. In October, a series of fires in wine country burned more than 10,000 homes and killed more than 40 people. Firefighter Cory Iverson, 32, died due to thermal injuries and smoke inhalation, according to the medical examiner.

The Thomas Fire has been blamed for two deaths and the destruction of more than 1,000 structures.

The youngest, 3-year-old Kailly Benitez, was one of four children killed. Without vegetation, soil does not absorb enough rain, causing water to bounce of the surface and flow downhill. The state's fires scorched more than 505,900 acres, more than double last year's burned acreage count.

The Thomas Fire, considered the largest fire in California's modern history, has finally been fully contained. During that same period in 2016, the state firefighting agency reported 4,759 fires that burned 244,304 acres.

The Thomas Fire was unusual for breaking out in December. That grass dried out in summer and turned into tinder, providing fuel for rapidly spreading fires often pushed by strong winds that can carry hot embers for miles and turn small spot fires into infernos.

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