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Thomas fire becomes largest in California recorded history

By Sam Howard
Thomas fire becomes largest in California recorded history
The arrow points to extreme danger outside a firehouse in the early evening hours just after sundown looking east in Monticeto, California on December 11, 2017. The Thomas fire is now the largest fire in California's recorded history. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 23 (UPI) -- About two and a half weeks after it ignited, the Thomas Fire has become the largest fire in California's recorded history, fire officials said.

The blaze has scorched 273,400 acres and is 65 percent contained, as of overnight Friday, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It has threatened 18,000 structures, destroyed or damaged nearly 1,000 single family residences and destroyed or damaged a few hundred other structures, the Forest Service said.

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Dry conditions throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties have compounded problems for firefighters. The Forest Service said the area hasn't received a tenth of an inch of rainfall since February.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the blaze's growth has dwindled in recent days. Shortly after the fire started Dec. 4, the Thomas fire was burning tens of thousands of acres a day.

But on Thursday this week, the fire grew by 770 acres. It grew by 288 acres on Wednesday.

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