The Thomas fire, which has killed two and destroyed more than a thousand structures in Southern California, could become the largest wildfire in the state’s history as the monster inferno continues to grow.
The fire led to the deaths of 70-year-old Virgina Pesola who perished in a car accident while attempting to evacuate and a 32-year-old firefighter from San Diego, Cory Iverson, who died from burns and smoke inhalation.
Intensified by erratic winds and super dry conditions, the fire has burned at least 270,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, making it the third-largest wildfire in modern California history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The largest fire on the department’s list, which dates back to 1932, is the 2003 Cedar fire, which charred more than 273,000 acres and killed 15 people.
The Thomas fire has burned steadily since Dec. 4, and authorities say it could take weeks to fully contain. It has reduced at least 1,026 homes and business to ashes and damaged more than 240 others.