Thomas Fire: California’s biggest wildfire declared officially out

GOLETA, Calif. -- The largest wildfire in recorded California history is officially out nearly six months after it began. Los Padres National Forest officials declared the Thomas Fire extinguished Friday after no hotspots were detected within the perimeter for more than two months.

The fire broke out Dec. 4, 2017, near Thomas Aquinas College northwest of Los Angeles and burned more than 440 square miles. More than 1,000 structures were lost in the fire before it was fully contained on Jan. 12. Two lives were lost in the fire, including a state firefighter. More than half the blaze was in the forest. 

On Jan. 9, a downpour on fire-denuded mountains unleashed massive debris flows that ravage hundreds of homes in the community of Montecito, killing 21 people and leaving two missing. One family of five, including a newborn baby, was rescued following that mudslide from a rooftop.

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