Publication Date December 14, 2017

Thomas Fire burned 242 500 acres, destroyed 751 structures and is just 30% contained

United States
Firefighters work Dec. 12 to extinguish a burning structure that is threatening other buildings and homes high above Toro Canyon in Carpinteria. Photo: Al Seib, Los Angeles Times

The Thomas Fire in California is burning for 11 days and is 30% contained as of December 14, 2017. The fire has so far burned 242 500 acres, making it the fourth largest fire in California's history. Its cause is still under investigation.

The Thomas Fire broke out December 4th near Thomas Aquinas College in Ojai, Ventura County, California. It was fanned by strong Santa Ana winds overnight, and quickly spread into the city of Ventura.

As of December 14, the fire has burned 242 500 acres (98 136 ha) and is only 30% contained. A total of 729 single family residences were destroyed and 175 damaged. 2 multiple residences were destroyed, 2 mixed commercial/residential, and 18 commercial structures.

There are now 8 144 firefighters battling the blaze and trying to save 18 000 structures still threatened.


Warm and dry conditions will persist across Southern California through at least Friday which will prolong ongoing conditions favorable for wildfire growth, NWS said.

Strengthening winds today will allow for an increase to "critical" conditions per the latest forecast from the Storm Prediction Center, but there will be some diurnal swings expected in wind strength into the weekend.