Thomas Fire becomes largest wildfire in California's history

Thomas Fire becomes largest wildfire in California's history

The fire that started December 4, in Santa Paula is now the largest fire in California History.

The Thomas fire took only 2 ½ weeks to burn its way into history books as unrelenting winds and parched weather turned everything in its path to tinder - including more than 700 homes. The fire eventually moved into Santa Barbara County, threatening Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria, after devastating much of downtown Ventura. Milder winds and cooler temperatures have helped firefighters the past couple of days. Some fires before that date undoubtedly were larger but records are unreliable, according to state fire officials.

More news: Christmas Eve plane crash kills 5 in Florida

Cause of the blaze, which began near Thomas Aquinas College north of Santa Paula, remained under investigation amid reports that investigators were looking at Southern California Edison Co equipment.

The fire has charred an area of about 415 square miles, or about 272,000 acres so far.

More news: LeBron James says his favorite Christmas games are in LA

2017 has been a record year for California wildfires, and this holiday season, the Thomas wildfire in the southern parts of the state has become the largest fire recorded in state history. Temperatures are expected to reach the low- to mid-70s next week in Santa Barbara.

Although dropping winds have supported firefighting efforts, a very dry climate has seen the stubborn blaze continue; as of Sunday, the fire was said to be 70 percent contained. 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.

More news: Warm temperatures ended hopes for first United Kingdom white Christmas since 2010

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