Local

Thomas Fire could be contained sooner than expected

A smoldering mountainside is seen under a starry sky at the Thomas Fire on December 16, 2017 in Montecito, California.
A smoldering mountainside is seen under a starry sky at the Thomas Fire on December 16, 2017 in Montecito, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

Firefighters say the Thomas Fire, which is now the largest wildfire in modern California history, could be fully contained sooner than they had predicted.

But that will only happen if cooler temperatures and less gusty winds linger throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. 

"The original date we had given was January 7, and I believe that we'll actually see containment much sooner than that, providing that we continue to get favorable weather." Brandon Baccaro of Cal Fire told KPCC.

The lights of a firetruck illuminate a firefighter dowsing a hot spot at the Thomas Fire on December 16, 2017 in Montecito, California.
The lights of a firetruck illuminate a firefighter dowsing a hot spot at the Thomas Fire on December 16, 2017 in Montecito, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

Baccaro said dry fuels, persistent Santa Ana Winds and difficult terrain have created difficult conditions for firefighters.

The nearly 275,000 acre fire is currently 65 percent contained. The fire has been burning since Dec. 4,  almost three weeks.

A member of the National Guard puts back up a
A member of the National Guard puts back up a "road closed" sign after it was blown down by the wind while manning a roadblock to evacuated homes in Santa Barbara, California on December 20, 2017.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images