The Thomas Fire Causes Over 88,000 People to Flee Their Homes

Thomas Fire burns canyons and ridges above Bella Vista Drive near Romero Canyon; photo provided by

Enormous flames spread throughout the wilderness of Southern California. About 272,000 acres and more than 1,000 homes and buildings are completely destroyed. Nearly 8,500 firefighters and 34 helicopters put up a tough fight against the Thomas fire. How the fire started is still unknown to firefighters, but the damage done is unmissable.

The fire started on the night of Dec. 4th in Toro Canyon. Dry conditions and 40 to 80 mph Santa Ana winds swept the Thomas fire to other nearby cities. Ventura County, Santa Barbara, and Ojai were affected the most from the fire. The blaze was 60 percent contained as of Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Thousands have been evacuated from their homes, while a large percent have had nothing to come home to. Many cars, farms, and residences  have been burned to the ground. Fire officials say about $110 million has been spent on damages and casualties. The fire might have caught people off guard, but most were able to evacuate safely.

The Thomas fire is now the largest blaze in the history of California. Over the course of the Thomas Fire, 88,000 people needed to evacuate and 18,000 structures continue to be threatened. Milder winds, cooler temperatures, and higher relative humidity have aided firefighters for the past four days. Cal Fire reported that the blaze is expected to be fully controlled by the end of the first week of January of 2018.