Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thomas Fire Close to Becoming the Biggest Wildfire in California History / And in December, no less.

Firefighters attack the Thomas fire’s north flank with backfires near Ojai, Dec. 9, 2017 (Credit: Gene Blevins / Reuters) Click to Enlarge.
The Thomas fire burning in Southern California is on the verge of becoming the largest blaze on state record, accomplishing a shocking feat for this time of year. 

The relentless wildfire burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties has burned a total of 272,000 acres and remains 60 percent contained as of Wednesday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, said in a release.

While the fire’s growth has slowed since igniting on Dec. 4, it’s on track to claim the title of the state’s largest fire on record from the 2003 Cedar Fire, which burned more than 280,000 acres in San Diego County.  The data is based on records dating back to 1932. 

While good weather conditions in recent days have allowed firefighters to make progress in fighting the blaze, wind gusts of up to 70 mph are expected to pick up tonight or tomorrow and could challenge firefighters working on the Thomas fire, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said in a Wednesday update. 
On Cal Fire’s list of the top 20 largest blazes in the state, the Thomas fire is the only one to occur in December, with nearly every other blaze taking place during the hot summer months when hot, dry conditions make the state its most fire-prone.  However, years of drought in California and global temperature rise have turned fires into a threat that knows no seasonal bounds.

Read more at Thomas Fire Close to Becoming the Biggest Wildfire in California History

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