Crews on the lines of Southern California's enormous wildfire — now the third largest in modern state history — hope to take advantage of a two-day window of calmer winds before potentially dangerous gusts return at mid-week.
The Thomas Fire, which broke out two weeks ago Monday, still threatens thousands of homes northwest of Los Angeles. It is 45 percent contained.
Fire spokesman Capt. Rick Crawford says cooler temperatures, slightly higher humidity and light winds forecast for Monday and Tuesday will be "critical" for firefighters hoping to make progress against the Thomas Fire. The hot, gusty winds that caused a huge flare-up and forced more evacuations over the weekend are expected to come back Wednesday.
We get the latest on the Thomas fire, as well as the firefighting tactics and larger strategy being used.
With files from the Associated Press
Mike Deponce, Thomas Fire PIO; he’s at the Santa Barbara Emergency Operations Center