California wildfire largest since 1932: Cal Fire

2017-12-23 14:32
Fire burns canyons and ridges above Bella Vista Drive near Romero Canyon as the fight to contain a wildfire continues in Montecito. (Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP, File)

Fire burns canyons and ridges above Bella Vista Drive near Romero Canyon as the fight to contain a wildfire continues in Montecito. (Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP, File)

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Los Angeles - A California wildfire that firefighters have battled for over two weeks is now the state's largest since at least 1932, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Friday.

The so-called "Thomas Fire" has burned 1 106km2, destroyed 1 063 structures and cost more than $177m since it broke out on December 4, Cal Fire said.

More than 2 800 fire personnel are battling the blaze, which is now 65% contained. San Diego-based Cal Fire engineer Cory Iverson died fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County on December 14.

The Thomas Fire is now even larger than the 2003 Cedar Fire, which burned 1 105km2 and previously topped Cal Fire's list of the top 20 largest wildfires in California, the oldest entry on which dates to 1932.

However, larger fires may predate the list, including the Santiago Canyon Fire of 1889 that reportedly burned 1 214km2.

"There were fires with significant acreage burned in years prior to 1932, but those records are less reliable, and this list is meant to give an overview of the large fires in more recent times," Cal Fire said.

This year is the worst on record for wildfire devastation in California.

Read more on:    us  |  california wildfires  |  fires

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