The numbers begin to be hopeful in the battle against the most destructive fire known to a State accustomed to fires like California. The so-called Thomas fire became the largest in California’s history over the weekend since there are reliable measurements, a century ago. Until Tuesday it had reached 113,000 hectares, approximately the extension of the city of Los Angeles. At the same time, the controlled area reached 88% on Tuesday.
Thomas also leaves behind tragic figures in loss of life and property. A firefighter displaced from San Diego, Cory Iverson, died on December 14th as a result of burns and inhalation of smoke when he participated in the work of extinction. A woman died in the first days of smoke inhalation after having an accident in the car in which she fled the area. More than 1,000 structures have been destroyed in the three weeks of the fire and 280 have been damaged.
On Tuesday, nearly 900 firefighters and 26 helicopters were still deployed around Ventura, capital of the county of the same name, about an hour north of Los Angeles. The landscape that Thomas has left behind is basically the entire countryside around one of the most touristy areas of California razed.
The latest bulletin published by the California firefighting office indicates that firefighters are already concentrating on keeping the perimeter under control and in debriding, rather than putting out the remaining fires. Official sources cited by the Los Angeles Times expect the fire to be extinguished by January 7. “At this point, the fire is not expected to grow”, the statement said. He also adds: “We encourage visitors to enjoy Santa Barbara, Ventura and neighboring areas during this holiday weekend. The businesses are open and eager to serve the public”.