California fire update – area larger than New York City scorched by Thomas Fire

The Thomas Fire wildfire in Southern California continues to cause havoc, and has now expanded to the point that an area larger than New York City has been scorched by the flames.
So far, over 230,000 acres (930 square km) have been consumed by the blaze, which has mainly targeted the Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
What’s making the fire a huge force is that is is being fanned by incredibly strong winds, and has grown to the point that it has become the fifth largest wildfire in recorded state history, with the blaze growing by more than 50,000 acres a day.
Understandably, residents who are in coastal beach communities have been ordered to leave by the relevant authorities.
On the 10th December, it had been reported that firefighters had contained 15% of the fire, however they were forced to downgrade that to 10% as in the time they’d reported that, the fire continued to spread.
Speaking about the fire, Santa Barbara County Sheriff, Bill Brown, highlighted the nature of the blaze, but also stated that there are high volumes of people working hard to extinguish it.
“This is a menacing fire, certainly, but we have a lot of people working very diligently to bring it under control,”Brown said.
Another significant factor for firefighters is that it isn’t just the dry winds which are causing issue, but due to the location and the mountainous terrain, it’s more difficult.
Tim Chavez, an analysts for the California fire protection department, expanded on this and said that another huge reason why the emergency services are struggling is due to ‘a hot interior’ pretty much meeting the ocean, making access to the blaze very difficult.
“It’s just a very difficult place to fight fire,” Chavez said. “It’s very dangerous and has a historical record of multiple fatalities occurring over the years.”
By and large, the other fires which have hit California are under control, however 200,000 people have had to evacuate their homes and over 800 buildings have been completely destroyed since the fire broke out on the 4th December.

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