Published: Mon, December 25, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

California wildfire becomes largest on record in the state

California wildfire becomes largest on record in the state

A California wildfire that has killed two people and seared its way through cities, towns and wilderness northwest of Los Angeles became the largest blaze ever officially recorded in California on Friday, authorities said. At 273,246 acres, the Cedar fire killed 15 people and burned almost 3,000 structures before officials were able to get a handle on it. A firefighter and a woman fleeing the blaze died. However, firefighters appear to be getting a handle on the blaze, securing established containment lines adjacent to communities and other infrastructure while monitoring for flareups and new fires.

By Friday, however, humidity was higher, temperatures were cooler and the fire threat to homes in many areas eased.

Days of unrelenting hot, gusty winds drive it through Ventura neighborhoods, incinerating entire blocks, and threatened the wealthy enclave of Montecito.

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Incremental increases in burned acreage detected by daily aerial surveys since then have been largely due to controlled-burning operations conducted by firefighters to clear swaths of vegetation between the smoldering edges of the fire zone and populated areas.

As reported here, earlier this week the fire surpassed Tuolumne County's 2013 Rim Fire, which burned 257,314 acres. Easing winds and lower temperatures have allowed workers to contain over 65 percent of the fire, and almost all of the mandatory evacuations in Santa Barbara County and Ventura County have been lifted.

By Thursday, most of the southern end of the fire also was surrounded and the last mandatory evacuation orders were called off. At its peak the fire drove about 100,000 people from their homes.

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