LOS ANGELES – The wildfire Thomas, which has razed 273,400 acres in southern California so far, become on Friday the largest wildfire in the state since records began.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said that Thomas, which began on Dec. 4, had surpassed the fire Cedar, which had burned 273,246 acres in San Diego County in Oct. 2003.
Records of the area destroyed by wildfires have been kept by the organization since 1932.
Thomas has destroyed 1,063 buildings and killed two, compared to the 2,820 destroyed by Cedar and 15 deaths caused.
Although during the first few days Thomas was difficult to control and spread rapidly through Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, in the last few days emergency services have managed to practically stop the wildfire’s progress and contained 65 percent of the flames.
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.