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Containment Up To 70% On Thomas Fire; Firefighters Say Fire Lines Secure


Firefighters say they've made big progress towards total containment of the massive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Containment hit 70% Saturday night on the fire, which began December 4th.  The fire has burned 273,400 acres.  On Friday, it became the largest fire in modern California history, surpassing the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County.

Firefighters say the front country fire perimeter is secure.  Crews have been doing mopup work around the fire lines, and crews are watching for possible flareups.  Strategic burn operations on the northern flank of the fire were completed on Friday, and no additional burns are planned.  Smoke from flareups in interior areas could be visible at times, and Ojai could experience more ash.

At the peak of the fire, more than 8000 personnel were involved in battling the blaze.  The number is now down to around 1500. 

Officials are cautioning people who live near urban wildland interface areas that they may see more wildlife in coming days as the result of the fire, which has displaced a number of animals.