Acre Thomas Fire in Southern California Now 100% Contained

Acre Thomas Fire in Southern California Now 100% Contained

Two deaths were attributed to the wildfire - 70-year-old Virginia Pesola of Santa Paula who crashed her auto trying to escape and 32-year old San Diego fire engineer Cory Iverson who was killed battling the fire.

4 outside Ventura as a series of blazes cropped up across Southern California, but it eventually grew to be the largest, burning through around 281,893 acres ― or about 213,000 football fields ― in and around the Los Padres National Forest. While California wildfires generally occur in hot summer months, years of drought have created conditions where such disasters can occur year-round.

- Both directions of USA 101 remain closed from the junction of State Route 126 in Ventura County to Milpas Street in Santa Barbara County due to mudslides, so motorists are advised to use the I-5 as an alternate route. Just 13 people remain assigned to the fire.

Usually, vegetation helps absorb the rain as it hits the ground.

The search amid the mud-covered wreckage of cars and homes is in its third day Friday, and crews want people out of the area in order to bring in more dump trucks and heavy equipment to move more of the boulders and debris.

Still, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Thomas Fire itself proved less destructive than other fires of similar scale in California, such as the wine country fires of last fall or the 2003 Cedar Fire, which until this month held the record for the largest blaze since the state started keeping such data in 1932. Nearly the entire community of Montecito ― around 10,000 people ― was as emergency responders continued to sift through the rubble. Mandatory evacuation orders were in place for parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. "It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere".

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