Firefighters are fighting to contain Thomas fire in southern California.

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Firefighters are fighting to contain Thomas fire in southern California.
Thousands of firefighters from across the country to southern California have begun making progress, including the fifth-largest wildfire in the state’s history.
The nearly 230,000 acre Thomas fire is now 20 percent occupied by firefighters on the ground and on board the plane on Monday night. Fire consumes more area than New York City.
Thomas Fire public information officer Matthew Chambers told Here&Now’s Robin Young that despite the human resources behind the work, it is increasingly difficult to combat these fires.
“Take your worst day of work and a hundred years,” says Chambers, a former fire chief of the American forest service in sequoia national forest, California. “You have a fire that winds up to 50 to 80 miles an hour, and it lasts for hours, so you keep getting gray, embers, steep terrain, just blowing through the mountains.”
Most of the other fires in the area are mostly under control, as 8500 firefighters are trying to control the fires. Thousands of people were forced to evacuate. The fire damaged or destroyed more than 1,000 homes and at least one person was killed.
According to Cal Fire, the work cost more than $48 million. Chambers says the hot, well-trained fire brigades of the agency – responsible for reducing the number of miles of brushes in the forest – create firewalls in the forest.
“Imagine, in a 120 – degree weather, with 45 pounds of packing will be to bring all the water to your safety equipment, and then you can install another 15 to 20 pounds in the the chainsaw, then you must throw away the brush after cutting, so demanding,” he said.
Thomas fire, the fifth-largest in modern California history, shows signs of slowing down.
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Thomas fire, the fifth-largest in modern California history, shows signs of slowing down.
Fire officials also said firefighters had been trying to reach key areas, as flames threatened central coastal cities such as Carpinteria, Montecito, Summerland and Santa Barbara. This is the first time in a decade that some areas have been burned.
“Because the slopes are very steep and the terrain is so rugged, it’s actually quite dangerous,” Cal Fire spokesman Ian McDonald said on Friday. “We are not going to let firefighters get hurt on the side of a steep rock slope. We will wait for the fire to come to us and put it out in a safe place.”
The good news is that most of Thomas’s fire has disappeared from the coastal community, Lance Orozco, the news director of KCLU, a member station, told Young on Monday. He says a local aid agency has distributed nearly 100,000 masks to protect residents from smoke inhalation.
“Most of the fire is now moving to the back of the mountain,” he said. “when you’re north of the city, it’s just a wilderness.”
Chambers urged the public to pay attention to evacuation orders and warnings, and to stay indoors, where firefighters could enter the toughest areas. He says some of his colleagues have even lost some of their homes.
“This is the dedication of these people because they would rather take care of their neighbors than go to their own houses and protect themselves or their property,” he said.

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