Most recent updates from the official CAL FIRE website claim they have now reached 40% containment of The Thomas Fire that has now claimed 259,000 acres of land. Official reports suggest 1,009 structures have been completely destroyed, while an additional 240 have been damaged. Of the 1,009 destroyed, 764 of them were single-family residences. Another 18,000 structures in the area still remain threatened by the blaze.
Assets involved in containment of The Thomas Fire:
- 8,370 firefighting personnel across 161 crews.
- 973 engines
- 92 water tenders
- 32 helicopters
- 77 dozers
In total, the battle so far has cost the state $103,912,000, and the life of 32 year-old fire apparatus engineer Cory Iverson.
The current situation as described by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection:
“Northeast winds will return over the fire area. Critical fire weather combined with very high fuel loading, critically low fuel moistures, and single-digit relative humidities will continue to support fire growth on the West, East and North sides of the fire. Areas of concern are above the coastal Santa Barbara County communities, Matilija Wilderness, Rose Valley, and Sespe river drainage north of Fillmore.”
Official predictions claim an estimated full containment date of January 7th of 2018, or slightly over 3 weeks from today. Costs are expected to rise steadily as the first 2 weeks of fighting the fire have already cost the state more than $100 million.