LOS ANGELES – The Thomas fire, which in two weeks has laid to waste close to 110,000 hectares (271,816 acres) in southern California, has been 50 percent controlled, authorities said on Monday.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in its report on Tuesday that the weather conditions, with lighter winds and increased humidity, are helping the efforts of emergency services to extinguish the blazes.
More than 8,000 firefighters are working to put out the flames that have destroyed more than 1,000 buildings and led to the evacuation of around 100,000 people in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
Last week, a firefighter died while battling the fire, becoming the calamity’s second casualty, after a 70-year-old woman died in a car crash while trying to flee the fire.
This year is turning out to be California’s worst year for wildfires on record, mainly because of massive fires in October in several counties in the northern part of the state, which ravaged many wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties.
Those fires claimed the lives of 44 people and destroyed close to 8,900 houses and structures, according to the final estimates of the authorities.