With just shy of 6,400 firefighting personnel now allocated to the Thomas Fire alone, the largest of the wildfires continues to rip through Southern California. An estimated $34,000,000 USD has already been spent on containment of the fire, yet it remains a mere 15% contained after a full week of efforts. Heavy winds Sunday night aided the spread of the inferno, which now spans more than 230,000 acres (60,000 more than reported on Sunday).
Nearly 1,000 structures have been either completely destroyed or damaged by the blaze thus far, and poses a threat to another 18,000 in the areas around. Officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention released documents Monday morning showing upwards of 90,000 residents have now been ordered to evacuate due solely to the Thomas Fire.
Governor Jerry Brown called the fires “a horror and a horror we need to recover from.” He also cited drought and climate change as possible catalysts responsible for the worsening and wild spreading of the fire.
Officials still worry about the future of the wildfires even as winds settle down between 20-40 miles per hour moving into the week (down from 30-50 this weekend). Humidity is expected to remain low as well, allowing the fires to spread with little resistance. Because of winds and low humidity, a red flag warning is still in effect moving into the evening on Monday for most of Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
You can find the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention website here: