Firefighters begin large firing operation on Thomas Fire

The backfire should take three to four days and could encompass at least 15,000 to 20,000 acres.

thomas fire backfire map

Above: The northernmost red perimeter area is the beginning of the firing operation that could cover 20,000 acres if successfully completed. Map by Incident Management Team.

(Originally published at 9:45 a.m. PST December 19, 2017)

On Monday firefighters on the 271,750-acre Thomas Fire in Southern California began a very large firing operation, or backfire, out ahead of the fire that will remove fuel and secure approximately 17 miles of the north side of the fire. It is one to three miles away from the current fire edge and will tie in with Highway 33. In the video below Operations Section Chief Brian Rhodes explains that it could continue east to Rose Valley.

All articles on Wildfire Today about the Thomas Fire are tagged “Thomas Fire”.

On Monday the fire was relatively quiet compared to activity during the previous 16 days, allowing firefighters to secure additional firelines. However the firing operation created a large smoke column on the north side. The threat to Fillmore has decreased with the completion of line from town to Devil’s Gate. Continued strengthening of control lines will help to further decrease threats. On the north and east flanks of the fire, the fire continues to progress further into the Matilija and Sespe Wilderness and toward the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Fire suppression repair and damage inspection will continue as appropriate based on fire conditions. Repopulation will continue as threats in previously evacuated areas decreases.

Thomas Fire
Thomas Fire. Photo credit: Ventura County Fire Department.

Steep, rugged terrain on the Thomas Fire along Hwy. 33.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Firefighters begin large firing operation on Thomas Fire”

  1. I have relatives in Glendale in Clifford road and have had no word from them in weeks despite sending msgs to them. Are they safe there? Thank you. Ray Ball.


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