Thomas fire, cause of deadly mudslides, is finally 100 percent contained


The Thomas fire was the largest wildfire in recorded California history.

Los Padres National Forest officials flew over the scorched land Thursday and determined that it was fully contained.

The U.S. Forest Service made the announcement Friday after aerial surveys of the 440-square-mile scar left by the Thomas fire. "We would also like to thank the local and surrounding communities for their understanding and support during this time".

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The huge wildfire that led to this week's devastating debris flows in Montecito is finally 100 percent contained. "Debris flows can be extremely risky".

There is now a closure order that covers the burned area and surrounding areas as well.

The blaze broke out December 4 near Santa Paula, and destroyed 1,063 structures in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, while damaging 280 others. In an ongoing effort to provide transportation during the closure, Santa Barbara Airbus continues to operate their LAX shuttle service under a modified schedule to offer travelers a way to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The Sage Hill Group Campground is temporarily closed while fire crews use the area as a base camp.

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"The only words I can really think of to describe what it looked [like] was it looked like a World War I battlefield", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

The Thomas Fire put a cap on what was the costliest year for wildfires in USA history, with $10 billion in damage.

Federal and state authorities are now examining the burn area to assess the risks for flooding and other post-fire hazards.

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