Thomas fire, cause of deadly mudslides, is finally 100 percent contained


-In response to the destructive flooding and loss of life following the Thomas Fire, United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County have reestablished their support effort as the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund.

Fire officials in California say the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California's history, is now 100 percent contained.

The Los Padres National Forest is closed to the public within the Thomas Fire perimeter on the Santa Barbara and Ojai Ranger Districts. The town just 6 miles down the road from Santa Barbara toward Los Angeles, is the residence of numerous wealthy people including Oprah Winfrey and Ellen de Generes.

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Cory Iverson, a 32-year-old firefighter with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, died last month while battling the Thomas Fire. Over 1,000 structures were destroyed, including many homes, and an additional 280 were damaged.

According to news released by Los Padres National Forest officials, the Thomas Fire began on December 4 and over a month later had burned 281,893 acres, destroyed 1,063 Structures and damaged 280 more. In addition to causing massive destruction, the fire also contributed to earlier this week.

The freeway is the prime route between Ventura and Santa Barbara, and the closure is stranding some motorists. After a wildfire, flood risk is usually highest until vegetation returns, which can take up to five years.