Firefighter working huge California fire dies

The Latest on California wildfires

Posted: Dec 14, 2017 1:27 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

12:38 p.m.

A firefighter assigned to the huge wildfire burning in Southern California has died.

The fatality was announced Thursday afternoon by Chief Ken Pimlott of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, but he gave no indication of the circumstances.

Pimlott says the firefighter was a Cal Fire engineer from a San Diego unit. The firefighter's name has not been released.

More than 8,000 firefighters are working on what is now the fourth-largest wildfire in California history, covering 379 square miles (982 square kilometers), in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

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9:35 a.m.

The cost of battling Southern California's huge wildfire is nearing $75 million.

Thursday's tally of suppression costs for the so-called Thomas fire comes from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The 11-day-old wildfire in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties is now the fourth-largest in California history, scorching 379 square miles (982 square kilometers).

More than 8,000 firefighters and 27 helicopters are assigned to the fire, which has destroyed more than 900 homes and other structures.

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7:15 a.m.

The colossal wildfire burning northwest of Los Angeles is now the fourth largest in California history and authorities say it will likely keep growing as increasing winds fan the flames.

State officials said Thursday that the so-called Thomas fire straddling coastal Ventura and Santa Barbara counties now covers 379 square miles (982 square kilometers). That surpasses a blaze that burned inland Santa Barbara County a decade ago.

Some evacuations have been lifted, but authorities say seaside towns including Montecito and Carpinteria remain under threat. The fire is 30 percent contained after destroying 970 structures.

The National Weather Service says extreme fire danger conditions from dry Santa Ana winds could last through the weekend.

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5:30 a.m.

Fire officials hope to lift some evacuations for Southern California's huge wildfire but warn that predicted Santa Ana winds could once again mean danger for communities.

The blaze northwest of Los Angeles is about a third contained and authorities say the risk to the inland agricultural city of Fillmore is diminishing. But coastal enclaves to the west remain under threat Thursday as crews protect hillside homes in Montecito and Carpinteria.

The National Weather Service says extreme fire danger conditions could last through the weekend due to lack of moisture along with a likely increase in wind speeds.

Since the blaze broke out Dec. 4, it has burned more than 372 square miles (965 square kilometers) and destroyed 921 buildings - including at least 700 homes.

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12:30 a.m.

Fire lines have been established around nearly a third of one of the largest wildfires in California history, but danger remains.

Coastal communities in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties were warned Wednesday that they're still at risk if unpredictable winds whip up again and fan the flames.

The National Weather Service extended warnings through Friday of extreme fire danger conditions throughout much of Southern California due to lack of moisture along with a possible increase in wind gust speeds at the end of the week.

To the south in San Diego County, firefighters had come very close to containing another major wildfire. That blaze killed 46 race horses at a training center, and left one of their trainers with serious burns.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3074812

Reported Deaths: 35060
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103873814416
San Bernardino2569141560
Riverside2510002676
San Diego2185552174
Orange2165092508
Santa Clara949051129
Kern87240572
Fresno83200968
Sacramento811831128
Alameda68649788
Ventura62774462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43121766
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo32887309
San Francisco29502266
Solano25983107
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25333474
Merced24570316
Sonoma24184242
Kings19588148
Placer17490184
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13528151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10789138
Shasta9750123
Butte9528128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa767244
Lassen519916
San Benito500346
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323474
Mendocino319232
Amador302431
Lake262531
Humboldt242725
Glenn194820
Colusa17969
Calaveras162123
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 54°
Oroville
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 53°
Chico
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Red Bluff
Mostly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 38°
Red Bluff
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 38°
Chico
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 54°
Thursday was the last fairly quiet weather day that we'll have in northern California as a series of storms will move our way through next week. Our first chance for rain and snow showers arrives Friday morning with a cold front.
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