WEATHER »
Thomas Fire

Paul Wellman (file)

Thomas Fire


Thomas Fire No Longer Number One

Mendocino Complex Fire Now Biggest in Modern State History


Holding the top spot for just 227 days, the Thomas Fire, which burned 281,893 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties this past winter, was surpassed on the evening of August 6 as the Mendocino Complex Fire became the biggest wildfire in modern California history, according to 90 years of Cal Fire record keeping. The Mendocino Complex conflagration began on July 27 as a pair of neighboring blazes, the Ranch and the River fires. Operationally, however, they are being fought together under a single incident-command team. As of Wednesday morning, the wildfire had burned 300,086 acres in Mendocino, Lake, and Colusa counties; containment was at 47 percent.

Cal Fire records do not date back to the Santiago Canyon Fire of 1889, estimated to have burned more than 300,000 acres across Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties. Conditions leading up to that late-September blaze were marked by severe drought, nearly nonexistent spring and summer rainfall, and several Santa Ana windstorms that further desiccated an already parched landscape.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Adam Brothers Farm Identified in E. Coli Outbreak

Santa Maria farm recalls romaine and additional produce.

Goleta Swears in New City Leadership

New mayor and new councilmembers step onto the dais.

SBCC Scrapping Remedial Class Requirement

A new state law is designed to boost graduation and transfer rates.

Pot Dispensary Hit with Stop Work Order

City claims construction was done without proper permits.

Santa Barbara Priests Named in New Abuse Reports

Twelve men accused of child molestation served in area parishes.