#ThomasFire | California | 17

INCIDENT SUMMARY | The Thomas Fire that started on December 4, 2017, as a small 500-acre brush fire would explode two weeks as of today an out-of-control firestorm.  It has grown so much that it is now considered to be the third largest wildfire.

A Superscooper aircraft comes in for a water drop below East Camino Cielo in the hills above Montecito. (Credit: SBC Fire Info)

CURRENT FIRE STATUS | 271,000 acres burned.  50% containment status.

Resources will continue fire suppression activities and tactical patrol in Montecito, and improve the fire perimeter. Mop up and strengthening of containment line in the Gibralter Road area will continue.

A Bombardier 415 Superscooper makes a water drop Sunday morning on hot spots along the hillside east of Gibraltar Road. (Credit: SBC Fire Info)

Direct and indirect fireline construction extending to the north of the Camino Cielo will continue, tying into the Zaca fire. The threat to Fillmore has decreased with the completion of line from town to Devil’s Gate. Continued strengthening of control lines will help to further decrease threats.

On the north and east flanks of the fire, the fire continues to progress further into the Matilija and Sespe Wilderness and toward the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Fire suppression repair and Damage Inspection will continue as appropriate based on fire conditions.

Firefighters standing guard and providing structure protection at a home off Gibraltar Road watch as a bucket full of water is dropped from a copter onto a hot spot nearby. (Credit: SBC Fire Info)

FIRE HISTORY | The Thomas Fire is now considered the third largest wildfire but due to become the largest within 3,000 acres.  The largest wildfire was the Cedar Fire at 273, 246 acres in October 2003.  This fire burned 2,820 structures and killed 15 people.   The second largest was the Rush Fire that began in August 2012, that destroyed 271,911 acres but did not cause any loss of structures or deaths, however 43,666 acres burned in Nevada.

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT |  1,024 structures destroyed.  250 structures damaged.  18,000 threatened.

RESOURCES | 8,094 fire personnel.  876 engines, 161 crews, 35 helicopters, 72 dozers, 58 water tenders and CAL FIRE IMT-4.

A US Forest Service Hot Shot Crew from Ojai head down a fire break to work off E. Camino Cielo. (Credit: SBC Fire Info)

FIRE WEATHER  | While the weather conditions are improving with an increase in humidity recovery, and decrease in wind speeds, fuels remain critically dry.

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog – Updated 12/18/2017  @ 2015 PST