Largest California fire not expected to spread as winds subside

(Reuters) – The largest wildfire in California history was not expected to spread on Sunday with light winds forecast, officials said.

The Thomas Fire that began northwest of Los Angeles on Dec. 4 has burned 273,400 acres (110,641 hectares), the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said, bigger than the size of New York City. The latest figure is unchanged since Friday.

Winds are expected to be lighter than 10 miles per hour, Cal Fire said. The fire was 70 percent contained, unchanged from Saturday.

The cause was still not known. The fire spread from its start in Ventura County due to strong Santa Ana winds from the California desert.

The fire has destroyed 1,063 structures and scorched coastal mountains, foothills and canyons across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties northwest of Los Angeles, officials said.

Cal Fire said there were flare-ups of hot spots within areas already burned on Saturday, but no danger reported to homes or people were seen.

Evacuation orders that had been in place in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties were canceled on Thursday.

One fatality directly related to the fire has been reported, a firefighter who succumbed to burns and smoke inhalation in the line of duty on Dec. 14 in Ventura County.

The Thomas Fire has burned about 150 more acres than the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County that killed 15 people.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

2018-11-04T10:13:48+00:00December 26th, 2017|0 Comments

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