The devastating fire that began on December 4 in California is showing no signs of abating. The fire has destroyed 750 homes and burned approximately 425 square miles in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Two people, including a firefighter have been killed.
There are currently 432 people still staying at evacuation shelters run by the Red Cross. Officials are now bracing for stronger winds that could make the fire hard to contain. Firefighters do not expect to have the fire under control until sometime around January 7, 2018.
“Firefighters have been working hard for the last 3½ days to prep for tomorrow,” reported Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority. Crews utilized the somewhat calmer weather of the past few days days to build containment lines and set controlled fires to clear dry brush ahead of so-called sundowner winds expected to whip up Wednesday afternoon.
Currently the fire is the second largest in California history, only about 1,200 acres smaller than the state’s largest fire. That blaze, the 2003 Cedar fire in San Diego, killed 15 people.