Noah Berger/ AP Flames from the Thomas fire burn above a truck on Highway 101 north of Ventura, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.
Friday, Jan. 12, 2018|6:33 p.m.
VENTURA, Calif.– The largest wildfire on record in California was declared included on Friday, days after mud on the seaside mountain slopes it sweltered crashed down on homes during a storm, eliminating a minimum of 18 people.
The Thomas fire was stated One Hundred Percent surrounded after ravaging Ventura and Santa Barbara counties northwest of Los Angeles for more than a month. A cause has not yet been figured out.
Some areas of Los Padres National Forest remain closed to the general public until authorities determine it is safe to enter.
The blaze started on Dec. 4 and fierce winds drove the flames through tinder-dry brush, chaparral and trees. The fire blackened 440 square miles (1,140.76 square kilometers)– a location nearly as large as Los Angeles.
Flames whipped through foothill communities and forest wilderness. More than 1,000 structures, including lots of houses, were incinerated and thousands of people were required to get away.
Evacuations were required Montecito as flames topped ridges above the wealthy enclave that was struck by waves of mud on Tuesday.
Two individuals were killed in the fire. Cory Iverson, a 32-year-old state firemen, passed away of burns and smoke inhalation while operating in high country above Fillmore.
An initial state fire report said Iverson was laying pipe line near a firebreak cut by bulldozers when he ended up being surrounded by spot fires that took off around him and cut off his retreat.
Four other members of his group handled to get away.
Some Montecito families had just recently returned home when another evacuation call headed out on Monday.
Forecasters cautioned that the approaching storm could let loose flooding and mudslides because fire-scorched areas had actually lost plants that supports soil.
Waterfalls of mud, boulders, trees and other debris flooded the community, damaging a minimum of 100 homes.