The largest wildfire on record in California was largely tamed by Sunday as Ventura residents raced around for last-minute holiday shopping and for Christmas Eve church services.
But the devastation was never far from the thoughts of many. Hundreds of people fled their homes as the Thomas fire swept into the city Dec. 4. The blaze continued to threaten communities from Ventura to Montecito last week, when the last of the evacuation centers finally closed.
The fire is 86% contained but is not expected to be fully contained until Jan. 7, officials said. The blaze has burned 281,620 acres, destroyed 1,063 structures, and resulted in two deaths, including that of a firefighter.
Roughly 1,600 firefighters remain on the line.
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