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

Henrietta Strickland
January 13, 2018

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Two people, a firefighter and a civilian, died in the fire.

What was previously designated a public safety exclusion zone - an area west of Sheffield Drive/East Valley Road/Ladera Lane, east of Olive Mill/Hot Springs Road, north of the ocean, and south of the U.S. Forest Service boundary - is now part of the mandatory evacuation order area. Its historic toll in Southern California - more than 280,000 acres ravaged - also led to another deadly disaster: the mudslides this month in Santa Barbara County.

"It's heartbreaking that just weeks after the Thomas Fire devastated the Central Coast, our community is again facing bad destruction and the tragic loss of family and friends", said Steve Ortiz, United Way of Santa Barbara County President & CEO, and Eric Harrison, President & CEO, United Way of Ventura County, in a joint statement. After a wildfire, flood risk is usually highest until vegetation returns, which can take up to five years.

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. Please write "Thomas Fire Fund" in the memo. Nearly the entire community of Montecito ― around 10,000 people ― was as emergency responders continued to sift through the rubble.

The teams will turn over their data to Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management and Ventura County Office of Emergency Services, who will develop emergency preparedness and response plans for their respective communities.

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

With the fire now essentially out, officials are focusing on repairing damage from the firefighting efforts, and assessing risks from flooding and debris flows.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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