Southern California

After Cool, Calm Conditions, Few Flames Seen in Thomas Fire Zone

The Thomas fire started Dec. 4 in Ventura County and grew to become the state's largest wildfire on record

The wildfire that scarred a huge area of Southern California this month is producing very little active flame now.

Officials say the fire is 88 percent contained Tuesday and is not expected to make any further progress.

The fire scorched more than 440 square miles of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, destroyed more than 1,000 structures and damaged 280 others after breaking out Dec. 4. At about 282,000 acres, it is the largest wildfire on record in California. 

Fewer than 900 personnel remain on the fire, which once was battled by an army of more than 8,000 firefighters, some of whom were treated to a Christmas dinner by the community Monday in Ventura. About 1,500 firefighers were on the fire line during the holiday.

Flare-ups may occur and about 30 wilderness oil seeps ignited by the fire continue to burn, but authorities say there's little smoke and air quality reports indicate healthy conditions for outdoor activities.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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