By: Kyle James | 12-29-2017 | News
Photo credit: Sheila Fitzgerald |

Thomas Fire Is Now 91% Contained

California fire officials say the Thomas fire is now 91 percent contained as of Thursday with remaining active heat sources well inside the perimeter of the 440-square-mile burn area.

The Thomas fire is burning northwest of Los Angeles and began on December 4 in Ventura County and was quickly fanned to life by gale force winds. The fire destroyed 1,063 structures and damaged 280 more as it swept through rural wine country in California's heart.

<img src="" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">

<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: NBC Los Angeles</span>

The fire then spread into neighboring Santa Barbara County where it was finally brought under control as the high wind conditions faded away.

Firefighting costs for the Thomas fire rose to over $174 million and quickly became the largest on record with more than 8,000 fighters on the front lines.

Now, around 700 firefighters monitor and attempt to stamp out the blaze. A report from the Los Angeles Times revealed California state was only halfway through its fiscal year and had already spent $699 million battling blazes.

Halfway through the fiscal year, the state was already $272 million over budget. 2017 was also expensive for the U.S. Forest Service which spent more than $2 billion on wildfires for the year.

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