Editor's note: This story was originally published December 6. It has been updated throughout to reflect the latest information.
While two of the three fires that ravaged Southern California last week have been largely contained, one—the Thomas Fire in Ventura County—has grown to over 200,000 acres.
Red flag fire danger warnings remain in effect until this evening for the area where the Thomas Fire is active. “Any fires that start today will exhibit extreme behavior and rapidly spread out of control,” the National Weather Service warns.
A statewide fire map from CalFire and and the US Wildfire Activity Public Information Map, both embedded below, show the three blazes active in Ventura and LA counties now.
In Ventura County, the devastating Thomas Fire has grown to a staggering 230,500 acres and is 15 percent contained as of early Monday morning. Ventura County fire officials told the Los Angeles Times that due to intense winds and low humidity, they may be fighting the fire for weeks.
Massive imposing smoke from #ThomasFire today. Looking west from Newbury Park. pic.twitter.com/gekRcWcPiO— Greg Vit (@gvitty) December 10, 2017
The latest totals push the Thomas Fire to the rank of fifth largest fire in state history, as recorded by CalFire.
The Creek Fire continues to burn east of Sylmar, and has consumed 15,619 acres. But it is 95 percent contained, says CalFire. The majority of evacuated families were allowed to return home Thursday night.
The Rye Fire near Santa Clarita has burned 6,049 acres and is 90 percent contained, says the LA County Fire Department. The area’s evacuations were lifted late last week, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department says.
Both maps shows the trio of major fires and their perimeters, and also include some information on smaller fires, including the 75 percent-contained, 422-acre Skirball Fire near the Getty Museum. Many residents evacuated for this fire returned to their homes last week.
Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said Wednesday that combating so many fires at once was tasking resources. His department had deployed a strike team to the Thomas Fire, 400 firefighters to the Creek Fire, and 350 to Skirball. All of LAFD’s bulldozers were at the Creek Fire, so he had to borrow equipment from other fire departments to help build a fire line at Skirball.
“We are stretched thin,” he said. At one point, between the Creek and Skirball fires alone, there were approximately 17,000 firefighters working to beat back the blazes.
Fire officials say that the fires have been fueled by Santa Ana wind conditions and an excess of dry brush due to a lack of rainfall that usually comes this time of year. The Weather Service expects Santa Ana wind conditions in LA and Ventura counties to continue into Saturday.