The Thomas fire, which has scorched more that 270,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in Southern California, is set to become the largest in the Golden State’s history, according to predictions by AccuWeather.com.
AccuWeather reported early Thursday morning:
Gusty winds will kick up and become troublesome for firefighting efforts in Southern California into Friday.
The Thomas Fire is likely to become California’s largest wildfire on record, when it tops 273,246 acres burned, from the Cedar Fire in October 2003. As of Wednesday evening, Dec. 20, the Thomas Fire has charred 272,000 acres.
Another Santa Ana wind event will unfold into early Friday, with canyons and passes from Santa Barbara through San Diego becoming subject to damaging winds.
No rain is forecast into next week. Due to dry air and dry brush, the threat of new fires igniting will continue well after the winds die down. Outdoor flames of any kind, tossing cigarette butts and parking cars over dry brush should be avoided.
While winds will diminish for a time later Friday through Saturday, cold air plunging across the West and a strong area of high pressure developing over the Great Basin will lead to another round of gusty winds beginning later this weekend.
More than 6,000 firefighters are involved in the effort to fight the Thomas fire’s advance across difficult terrain. One has died, along with one civilian who died while evacuating the area. More than 1,000 structures have been destroyed.
San Diego-area ABC affiliate KGTV reported Wednesday that five people have been arrested for looting evacuees’ vehicles in Ventura County.
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.