The Thomas wildfire in California has now become the largest in the state’s history. According to CNN, the fire has eclipsed the San Diego Cedar fire in 2003 that consumed 273,246 acres before it was contained:
The Thomas Fire has devastated swaths of Southern California since it began on December 4 fueled by strong Santa Ana winds in Ventura County. It remains as the third-most destructive in structure losses, with 1,063 buildings burned, according to Cal Fire.
As of Friday night, the blaze was only 65% contained. Firefighters have been battling the flames for nearly three weeks in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and are expected to continue working around the clock until January 7, fire officials said.
CNN adds that $110 million has been spent fighting the massive blaze, adding to the $10 billion total for 2017 — already the costliest wildfire season in the nation’s history. 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.
Deadline adds that the Thomas fire threatened celebrity havens Montecito and Santa Barbara, with nearly 100,000 evacuated and a slew of famous names showing gratitude to firefighters battling the blaze and trying to save the area.
Only one firefighter has been lost to the massive fire, with San Diego firefighter Cory Iverson passing in early December. Firefighters seeking relief and help from the weather won’t be lucky, with no rain in the forecast for the next few weeks and CNN adding that the area hasn’t received rainfall “over .10 inches since February.”