The Thomas Fire is long from being over as it still holds fire resources from their families and loved ones into the Christmas Holiday – a first ever for most of the firefighters attached to this incident. 

The fire originally ignited on Monday, December 4th about three weeks to this day, as a 500-acre brush fire which started around the Thomas Aquinas College, north of Santa Paula, California.  The fire quickly exploded into a firestorm destroying hundreds of structures, livelihoods and killing one life – a firefighter in the line-of-duty.


There are currently 1,586 fire personnel that are still working on the fire line, in support roles and in management along with the aid of 116 fire engines, 61 crews, 26 helicopters, 19 bulldozers and 31 water tenders. 

The IMT unit is being managed by a CAL FIRE IMT Team 4 and 3.

From Adversity to Kindness
City of Anaheim FD’s E9 is providing SAR activities. Taken on December 24, 2017 @ 1500 hours PST. (Credit: Anaheim FD Via Inciweb)

Incident Cooperators as those agencies and organizations that work hand-in-hand together on a single fire incident.  Listed below are those currently still working in conjunction with fire suppression efforts and supporting all fire, law enforcement, human services and infrastructure activities:  

CAL FIRE, VCFD, VCSO, SBCoFD, SBCoSO, City of Ventura PD, City of Ventura FD, USFS/Los Padres NF, CAL OES, Red Cross, Souther CA Edison, CHP, CA DOC, SoCaGas, Crimson Pipeline, Wildfire Defense Systems, CA Resources Group, Santa Paula PD, Santa Paula FD, Ventura Co OES, Santa Barbara OEM.

Thomas Fire 12/16/2017
Credit: USFS via Inciweb


The Thomas Fire destroyed 1,063 structures and damaging 280.  It has consumed 281,620 acres and is now considered to be an 86 containment status.

Here is the current fire status as firefighters work to gain and work to contain and suppress this fire until it is completely out.  Each area is listed as their areas of primary focus:

Cooperators on the Thomas Fire
Incident Cooperators assisting on the wildfire. Posted on December 14, 2017. (Credit: Inciweb)

Cherry Creek Road:  Additional 1/2 mile of containment line has been added to the area.  On December 18, crews initiated a firing operation north of the main fire and west of this roadway, say Fire Officials.

Thomas Fire 12/16/2017
Firefighters on the Thomas Fire. (Credit: Inciweb)


Bear Heaven:  Hot spots still remain in the area.  Water drops are in effect due to steep, rugged terrain and limited access.  Firefighters are working to gain additional containment and work on fire suppression efforts.

Ventura to Santa Barbara:  Fire line has been contained and secured.  No forward progression is expected due to shorter days and lack of recorded winds.  Firefighters are making progress in increased containment protecting infrastructure and nearby communities. 

Mop-up operations are also being conducted, as well as active patrol for any flare-ups or new fire starts.

Thomas Fire
The Thomas Fire on December 17, 2017. (Credit: Inciweb)

Wildlife:  Due to displacement of wildlife from the fire, residents and visitors are being strongly discouraged from feeding or being near these WILD animals for your safety and theirs.  If you see any wildlife, you are asked to call 9-1-1 and visit this website for more information.  (


A NWFB reader brought it to our attention that the #SantiagoCanyonFire in September 1889 aka the Great Fire of 1889, a massive wildfire that burned in three counties:  Orange, Riverside and San Diego, California was greater than the size of 308,000 acres.  With other wildfires active at the same time, the fire had a growth potential up to 494,000 acres but it did not merge with the others.

CAL FIRE does not recognize this wildfire,  nor does other trusted sources we used for this post as accurate recording of fires started officially in 1932.  Therefore, we are still standing by our original post that the Thomas Fire is the largest on “official” CA Fire records. – ED. <Wikipedia>


(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog – Updated 12/26/2017 – 2355 hours PST