The Thomas Fire in California started Dec. 4 and has made at least 50,000 evacuate their homes in nearly two and a half weeks.
According to a report from Fox News, at least 271,750 acres have been charred and 1,024 structures have been destroyed.
The drought the state experienced the last five years dried vegetation which the fire has been using for fuel. Although California received record rain in 2017, summer heat dried the new vegetation.
Santa Ana winds are also to blame for the fire’s rapid expansion. These winds come from the Arizona desert westward across California, reaching speeds of 50 miles per hour.
The fires in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are the third largest in California’s history, but 9.5 million acres of U.S. vegetation have been scorched this year.
“We’re in near-record territory,” said Brad Rippey, USDA meteorologist. “Only two other years in recent history have topped that.”
The ferocity of the wildfires in 2017 makes them particularly notable, said Rippey.
Other fires from this year include the Montana fires and the Great Plains fires in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado.