Sonora, CA – CAL Fire reports that the Thomas Fire, which is the largest and most destructive wildfire in Southern California, has grown to 96,000 acres overnight and fire officials say the worst may be yet to come.
The blaze burning in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles driven by Santa Ana winds have swept through ridges and canyons to the sea and those breezes are expected to return with a vengeance on Thursday, according to CAL Fire. To assist, the Stanislaus National Forest is sending fire crews to the area. A total of 40 fire personnel are on the way, according to forest service spokesperson Diana Fredland. She shares, “We’ve got two dozers, seven engines, and a water tender. Then ten other individual firefighters are also meeting up with Sequoia National Forest crews. Mostly they will be in the San Bernardino and Ventura County areas.”
Some crews were prepositioned before the blazes started, states Fredlund, noting, “We knew there was a real potential fire hazard in Southern California.” With regards as to how long crews will remain on the fires, she adds, “We don’t have a cut off time at this point. Generally, there is a specific amount of time, I think it’s about two weeks, and then they will rotate. Our support will continue as long as it’s needed. It may not be these specific individuals, but the equipment will stay down there until it’s determined they can come back.”
Fredlund stresses that the forest is covered as there are engines standing-by in case any fires ignite.