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The California wildfires by the numbers

A spate of Southern California wildfires h...

Posted: Dec 26, 2017 10:29 AM
Updated: Dec 26, 2017 10:29 AM

A spate of Southern California wildfires has destroyed an area larger than New York City and Philadelphia -- combined. And the end might be weeks away.

Blustery Santa Ana winds literally added fuel to the fires. which began December 4.

Here are the numbers behind the blazes:

1 death

Firefighter Cory Iverson, from the San Diego unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), was killed on December 14. Iverson drove a fire engine and was killed on the east flank of the blaze.

281,620 acres

That's the size of the Thomas Fire, the largest one ripping across Southern California. It started in Ventura County and has been moving across Santa Barbara County.

The fire is the largest blaze in modern California history. It's torched an area much larger than New York City.

$177 million

That's how much money has been spent fighting the Thomas Fire, according to Cal Fire. And the cost is sure to grow, given the inferno was 70% contained over the weekend.

18,000 structures threatened

At least 18,000 structures were threatened by the Thomas Fire, according to Cal Fire.

1,000 structures destroyed

An estimated 1,063 structures had been wiped out by the Thomas Fire, Cal Fire reported. About 775 were single-family homes. Twenty-one commercial buildings burned.

More than 1,000 firefighters still involved

About 1,586 firefighters are tackling the Thomas Fire.

The Nevada Department of Corrections and Nevada Division of Forestry, which run conservation camps, sent six trained crews of minimum security inmates to help.

Thousands more firefighters -- including from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington state -- have been involved in battling other wildfires in the state.

95,000 evacuees

During the two-plus weeks the fires have burned, at least 95,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate, Cal Fire has said. Mandatory evacuation orders for the Thomas Fire have been lifted.

$10 billion

This year has been the costliest for wildfires in US history. Damage has topped $10 billion -- and that was before the current fires began in Southern California.

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