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:

Dos Pueblos High School Stirs Political Pot

Senior-class picture features MAGA and LIBERALS!

Community Forum Provides Updates on Immigration Enforcement

About 9 percent of people in Santa Barbara County are undocumented.

Santa Barbara Launches Interactive Street Sweep Map

Users can identify dates, times, and routes for street sweeping by address and colored areas.

Santa Barbara Zoo Bids Farewell to Beloved Elephant

Sujatha passes away at 47 years old.

Disaster Relief Rundown for Santa Barbara 

A tally of nonprofit giving since the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow.