Work on 440-Square-Mile Thomas Fire Doesn’t Stop for Christmas; Containment Increases to 86%

More than 1,500 firefighters and members of ground crews still are working to tame the Thomas fire, now the largest blaze in recorded state history.

The Thomas Fire is 86 percent contained, authorities said on Christmas Day. (Credit: Claire Hannah Collins / Los Angeles Times)

The Thomas Fire is 86 percent contained, authorities said on Christmas Day. (Credit: Claire Hannah Collins / Los Angeles Times)

The fire has covered 281,620 acres, but Pat Russell, deputy chief of the Anaheim Fire Department, who is helping supervise firefighting operations, said fire activity was expected to be minimal on Christmas Day.

Firefighters are focusing on Rose Canyon in Los Padres National Forest, as well as Hartman Ranch, which is north of Ojai. Within the sprawling fire boundaries, there are islands of unburned vegetation that could ignite, but officials said there is no threat to structures or to the outer containment line.

“We are not expecting any growth on the fire,” said Russell. “There could be a flare-up of unburned fuel.”

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