Thomas Fire, once largest in California history, is now 100% contained

Kenny Tucker
January 13, 2018

More than a month after the Thomas Fire took hold in California's Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, firefighters have reached 100 percent containment of the deadly blaze. The fire, which led to deadly mudslides in Montecito, was officially deemed 100 percent contained on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018.

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

The U.S. Forest Service made the announcement Friday after aerial surveys of the 440-square-mile scar left by the Thomas fire.

"We would also like to thank the local and surrounding communities for their understanding and support during this time", officials said.

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"Wildfires exacerbate the potential for debris flow and are most likely to occur during high intensity rainfall", the state's firefighting service cautioned, suggesting the possibility of more mudslides to come. This order includes trails within the burned area.

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.

Emergency responders load a person caught in Santa Barbara County's first major storm of the year. Campfires are allowed only in designated-use sites, and no fires are allowed in the backcountry; portable stoves and lanterns (with an on-off switch) are only permitted with a valid California Campfire Permit. Both federal and state emergency response teams are assessing the burned areas to identify places at particular risk of flooding or debris flow.

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

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