Thomas Fire becomes largest wildfire in California's history

Alex Sosnowski # weather

The Thomas Fire has now burned more acres than any previous wildfire on record in California, and there are no signs of a pattern change that would deliver beneficial weather for battling the blaze.

Since starting on Dec. 4, the Thomas Fire killed one firefighter, one civilian and destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including more than 750 homes. The flames forced thousands of evacuations and numerous schools to close.

On Friday evening, CalFire reported that the Thomas Fire has grown to 273,400 acres and was 65 percent contained.

The fire has surpassed the Cedar Fire from 2003, which burned more than 273,246 acres.

Several episodes of strong winds have continued to spread the blaze through the month, which is unusual since massive wildfires are rare by this point of the year.

A most recent wind event occurred from Wednesday night to Friday morning of this past week and added acreage to the already massive amount of countryside burned.

While winds are forecast to remain relatively light into early next week, much of the time the air will remain very dry over the region through the holidays.

Even during episodes of light winds, the only minute amount of moisture in the air will have to come from the nearby Pacific Ocean in the form of a marine layer or lower temperatures at night.