The Thomas fire may be revitalized as winds pick up into Sunday night. As of Saturday firefighters made great strides from the beginning of the week, containing 40% of the Thomas fire, but new predictions show winds with a potential to reach up to 55 miles per hour by Sunday evening. Violent winds in conjunction with single-digit humidity continue to create the perfect storm against firefighting crews.
In it’s current state the Thomas fire is already the 3rd largest fire in California State history burning over 269,000 acres of land, and is now less than 5,000 acres away from surpassing the largest fire on record, the Cedar fire, which scorched 273,246 acres in 2003.
Some residents of Ventura county who were close to where the fire began were allowed to return to their properties as others in Santa Barbara county are now under mandatory evacuation orders. One returning resident was astonished at the fact his home still stood after firefighters protected it from the blaze just next door. He had this to say of the fire crew who assisted him:
“They put a water screen between my house and the house next door that was burning in an attempt to save it, but they didn’t think they were going to be successful,”
“They broke in and they saved my family photos and my computer, and things that they thought would be important to me.”
Casualties directly related to the fire still remain at just one, a 32-year-old firefighter named Cory David Iverson, whose death has now attributed to thermal injuries and smoke inhalation. Another death was recorded earlier on, but was the result of a car crash along an evacuation route.