Thomas Fire, Largest Wildfire in California History, 100 Percent Contained

Alicia Farmer
January 13, 2018

California's largest wildfire in state history, known as, is now 100 percent contained after more than one month of work, officials announced Friday.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

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

In all, the Thomas Fire destroyed 1,063 structures and damaged another 280, according to the Forest Service.

Los Padres National Forest officials flew over the scorched land Thursday and determined that it was fully contained.

The Thomas Fire was unusual.

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A series of wildfires in Northern California late a year ago, killing more than 40 people.

-In response to the destructive flooding and loss of life following the Thomas Fire, United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County have reestablished their support effort as the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund.

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. Up to 4 inches of rain fell on the Montecito area. Nearly the entire community of Montecito ― around 10,000 people ― was as emergency responders continued to sift through the rubble.

For traffic updates in Santa Barbara County, motorists may call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3318 or can visit our website at: Also, our free Quickmap app will provide real-time information on full closures, CHP incidents, traffic cameras and other important highway information.

Water, mud and debris continue to move, hampering Caltrans progress in clearing United States 101.

On Friday, officials warned about the potential for additional mudslides, noting that the risk of flooding is high until vegetation returns ― which could take five years.

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