Firefighters appear to have succeeded in their epic battle to prevent the Thomas fire from sweeping into coastal towns in Santa Barbara County, including the city of Santa Barbara itself.
Though some homes on the edges of towns like Montecito were lost — in some cases, the Los Angeles Times notes, reducing multi-million-dollar dream homes to ash and rubble — the containment lines held as lighter winds allowed firefighters to gain the upper hand after two weeks.
“[A]n epic firefight Saturday was largely a success, preventing the mammoth Thomas fire from sweeping into whole neighborhoods in Montecito and Santa Barbara,” the Times noted. In addition, while Santa Ana winds cleared some of the smoke from the area, winds were generally lighter and prevented the fire from moving too rapidly for firefighting crews to keep up with it.
The Thomas fire is already the state’s third-largest ever, at roughly 270,000 acres, and could soon become the largest ever, according to Southern California Public Radio, if it surpasses 273,000 acres, which it seems likely to do.
The firefighting effort itself is the largest in California history, the Times noted: “More than 8,500 firefighters have battled the blaze, the largest mobilization of fire crews to fight any wildfire in California history. The firefight has cost $123.8 million.”
Meanwhile, crowds turned out along a route hundreds of miles long to honor Cory Iverson, 32, a firefighter who lost his life while battling the Thomas fire late last week, the Orange County Register noted.
His body was transported from Ventura all the way south to San Diego, where he leaves a pregnant wife and two-year-old daughter.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.