Thomas Fire Becomes State's Fourth Largest Wildfire in History

The Thomas Fire spreading across Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties has now burned at least 242,500 acres, making it the fourth largest fire in California's history. Fire officials say the Thomas Fire is only 30 percent contained so far. 

Cal Fire reported the first firefighter fatality due to the Thomas Fire. Details about the incident are sparse, but according to Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott, a CAL FIRE Engineer from a San Diego has died. Southern Region leadership are notifying the firefighters. 

Cal Fire Chief Mark Brown says firefighters have a new plan to stop the spread of the fire through the Santa Barbara front country. 

"Plan C is a large fire operation. That would be designed to, for us, burn off the vegetation in the area in and around those communities." 

Brown says Plan C would be a controlled burn under the supervision of fire officials of another 3,000 to 4,000 acres. The plan will only be executed if ideal conditions exist Brown said. With the controlled burn, firefighters hope to work on the fire on their terms. 

Local officials have signed off on the plan to create the break to stop the fire. 

Photo: Getty Images

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