Updated: 12/28/2017 1:50:15 AM
The Thomas Fire reached 89 percent containment Wednesday morning and, due to decreased fire activity.
There’s little smoke in the air and it’s safe for people to do outdoor activities unless they are hyper-sensitive to smoke, officials said.
Updated: 12/25/2017 4:08:01 AM
The so-called Thomas Fire burning in parts of Southern California ranks as the largest wildfire on record in the state.
The oppressive blaze has grown steadily since erupting outside Ventura on Dec. 4. By Friday evening, the fire had eclipsed all previously recorded blazes in the state dating back to the 1930s.
It has now burned through 273,400 acres in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, reported. The Cedar Fire, which previously topped the list, burned more than 273,246 acres in San Diego County in 2003.
Of the top 20 largest wildfires in California history, the Thomas Fire is the only one to have occurred in December. Most of the other blazes took place during summer months when hot, dry conditions make the state more fire-prone. But California has experienced years of drought, in addition to a global temperature rise, which has fostered conditions in which megafires know no seasonal bounds.
Updated: 12/24/2017 1:47:37 AM
A deadly wildfire which has destroyed more than 700 homes in California is now the largest blaze in the state's recorded history.
According to officials, this is the worst season for wildfires in memory. Wildfires have ravaged vast parts of the state this year, with blazes burning from southern California all the way up to wine-growing regions hundreds of miles to the north. The frequency of massive fires in the state has dramatically increased in the last few decades, due to both accidental blazes started by humans and trends linked to climate change like extreme droughts.
Updated: 12/17/2017 2:46:24 AM
Thousands of additional residents were evacuated Saturday from areas near the Thomas Fire, now the third-largest wildfire in modern California history.
Fueled by high winds, the massive fire north of Ventura continued growing Saturday.
The blaze broke out 12 days ago and has killed a firefighter and a woman trying to flee.
Twelve thousand additional people were being evacuated Saturday from areas near the blaze in Santa Barbara County, said the county Sheriff's Office spokesman Brian Olmstead. Meanwhile, mandatory evacuations in Ventura County -- where the fire began-- were lifted Saturday.
Updated: 12/16/2017 4:12:27 AM
Shifting winds and difficult terrain are causing problems for firefighters as they attempt to stop a mammoth wildfire that has burned for nearly two weeks along the California coastline, killing a firefighter and destroying more than 720 homes.
The Thomas Fire, which broke out on 4 December, has raged across more than 400 square miles, making it the fourth-largest wildfire since record-keeping began in California in 1932.
Fire officials said a return of gusty Santa Ana winds made further progress difficult.
"Topography, fuels, and shifting winds are presenting a challenge to this operation," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on its website.
Updated: 12/13/2017 2:16:39 AM
Monster fires in Southern California raged for a seventh day on Sunday, edging into Santa Barbara County while leaving residents of neighboring Ventura County to deal with the aftermath of a historic inferno.
As hundreds fled for safety in Santa Barbara County as the fires spread north, residents in Ventura County sifted through the rubble of what was once their homes. Thousands of other evacuees remained unable to return to their homes, leaving them to wonder when they can move back in.
Updated: 12/12/2017 1:34:20 AM
One week after the Thomas Fire exploded from a brush fire to a raging inferno, thousands of firefighters made some headway Monday in their struggle to contain it.
The blaze is larger than all of New York City and about 20% contained as of Monday evening, according to the fire protection agency CAL FIRE.
But it's only one of six major wildfires torching the state last days, which have destroyed more than 1,000 structures.
As the flames burned in the foothills on the edge of Montecito in Santa Barbara County on Monday evening, some hoped for the best.
Updated: 12/8/2017 12:53:14 AM
More than 200,000 people in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties have been told to leave their homes. The city of Ojai, nearly surrounded by fires, was evacuated on Thursday, as were parts of the coastal city of Carpinteria. And hundreds of schools were closed and roads were blocked. With well over 100,000 acres scorched, residents were on edge, watching the news footage of hills and canyons going up in smoke.
Across seven counties, authorities sent text message alert to millions of cellphones with a warning of “extreme fire danger”. Other automated alerts warned people to pack up food, water and essential documents, and to be ready to flee on a few minutes’ notice.
Updated: 12/6/2017 2:51:14 AM
"Fires are breaking out across the so. Cal. Region... Be fire safe. Firefighters are working very hard to minimize damage to property. Evacuations are taking place in many places in Southern California," the Ventura County Fire Department tweeted.
The fast-moving, wind-driven wildfire rage through the city of Ventura on Tuesday evening, authorities said.
The blaze has consumed 50,500 acres on its journey to the ocean. The 101 remains open, but authorities warned drivers to be cautious traveling through the area.
Thousands of homes were still threatened by flames, 27,000 people were forced to flee, a firefighter was injured and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, as some 1,100 personnel continued to battle the blaze.
Authorities Tuesday evening continued to widen evacuation zones and announced dozens of school closures in Ventura and Conejo Valley for Wednesday.
"This fire is very dangerous and spreading rapidly, but we'll continue to attack it with all we've got," Brown said. "It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so."
Updated: 10/14/2017 11:37:03 PM
Several thousand more people were ordered Saturday to evacuate from the Northern California city of Santa Rosa as a new wildfire threatened the area, six days after deadly blazes started to devastate the region.
Updated: 10/14/2017 10:30:58 AM
The grim toll from the Northern California wildfires continued to rise Friday as officials said that an estimated 5,700 structures were destroyed and that at least 34 people died.
Firefighters continued to gain control of some fires scorching wine country, thanks in part to continued calm winds in some parts of the region. Officials expect the death toll to rise as search efforts continue in neighborhoods from Santa Rosa to the hills of Napa County.
Updated: 10/13/2017 8:53:12 AM
Northern California’s wildfires have now killed 31 people, making this the deadliest week of wildfires in state history.
Updated: 10/11/2017 12:49:14 PM
At least two hospitals in Northern California evacuated patients as more than 14 wildfires spread across at least 57,000 acres of land, destroying 1,500 structures, officials said.
Published Monday, October 9, 2017
The fast-moving fires raging across Northern California’s wine country have destroyed up to 2,000 homes, structures and wineries, state fire officials said.
The flames from 17 major blazes have blackened more than 46,500 hectares since fires broke out on Sunday amid hot, dry conditions and high winds.
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said 11 of the fatalities were in its jurisdiction, where 155 people were still missing, although 45 others had been found and some of those unaccounted for may be due to confusion surrounding evacuations.
North of San Francisco, the fires reduced houses to ashes in several communities.
The city of Santa Rosa was particularly hard hit by the so-called Tubbs Fire, which damaged a Hilton hotel and destroyed a mobile home park.
Tens of thousands of residents were forced to flee, as schools closed and at least two hospitals in Sonoma County were temporarily shuttered.