Image: Thomas fire continues to grow but weather may assist efforts
The Thomas Fire in Ventura County California continues to burn despite the best efforts of firefighters. The extended Santa Ana wind event is a factor adding to the problem of fighting the Thomas Fire. Coupled with high temps and low humidity, the weather conditions have provided the fire a perfect environment for fire development.
Forecasters, however, are predicting that weather concerns may ease in the next few days with lighter winds, cooler air and more humidity coming into the region. Currently the Thomas Fire is at 270,500 acres, the third largest in California history and this fire will most likely be moving into second place sometime this week. Over 1,300 structures have been destroyed in this blaze. To date the perimeter has been contained 45% by firefighters with the hopes that full containment will occur by early January. If the Santa Ana wind event would cease or even slow, firefighting efforts would be helped tremendously.
NASA's Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, MODIS, instrument on December 16, 2017. Actively burning areas (hot spots), detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red. When accompanied by plumes of smoke, as in this image, such hot spots are diagnostic for fire.