The Thomas Fire Is Now Officially California’s Largest Blaze

Thomas Fire Rages Through Santa Barbara County
A strong wind blows embers at the Thomas Fire in Montecito, California.  David McNew / Stringer

Thomas Fire, the wildfire that’s been ripping through Southern California, has been deemed the largest blaze ever recorded in the state, according to a report from the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection.

So far, it’s destroyed at least 1,063 structures and scorched over 273,400 acres of land. Just to put that in perspective, the burned area is so vast it could have swallowed New York City, which is spread over 194,944 acres.

Thomas Fire trumps the Cedar Fire of 2003, which torched 273,246 acres in San Diego and killed 15 people. In the current blaze, firefighters have lost one of their own: Cory Iverson, 32, according to the Huffington Post.

Even though California’s droughts came to an end this year, that stretch of hot, dry weather, paired with rising global temperature and the unforgiving Santa Ana winds have plagued the state with megafires.

Visit fire.ca.gov for information on safety tips and reminders that can help prevent wildfires and up-to-date red flag warnings.