California wildfires by the numbers: $177M spent, more than 1000 structures destroyed


Deadline adds that the Thomas fire threatened celebrity havens Montecito and Santa Barbara, with almost 100,000 evacuated and a slew of famous names showing gratitude to firefighters battling the blaze and trying to save the area.

The fire is the largest blaze in modern California history.

The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted out a photo of some of the hardworking firefighters posing with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

It was 70% contained as of Saturday evening, with almost 1,600 firefighters working to put it out, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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The Thomas Fire has burned about 150 more acres than the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County that killed 15 people. Some fires before that date undoubtedly were larger but records are unreliable, according to state fire officials.

An estimated 1,063 structures had been wiped out by the Thomas Fire, Cal Fire reported. Temperatures are expected to reach the low- to mid-70s next week in Santa Barbara. The blaze continued to threaten communities from Ventura to Montecito last week, when the last of the evacuation centers finally closed.

A newly planted tree also survived the fire. The Thomas fire had already burned an area larger than Manhattan but has spread to an area larger than "New York City, Washington, DC, and San Francisco combined" according to CNN. Thousands of firefighters and fleets of aircraft have been battling the blaze since December 4. "Any growth that we see or is reflected in the acreage will be based on the control burns".