California wildfires have destroyed area larger than NYC and Boston combined

Posted at 10:21 AM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 13:06:03-05

A spate of California wildfires has destroyed an area larger than New York City and Boston — combined. And there’s no end in sight.

Ferocious Santa Ana winds are literally adding fuel to the fires, one week after the colossal Thomas Fire started.

Here are the staggering numbers behind the blazes:

230,000 acres

That’s the size of the Thomas fire, the largest fire ripping across Southern California. It started in Ventura County and is now moving across Santa Barbara County.

At more than 230,000 acres, the Thomas Fire is now the fifth largest blaze in modern California history. It’s torched an area larger than all of New York City.

$34 million

That’s how much money has already been spent fighting the Thomas Fire, according to the Ventura County. And the cost is sure to grow, since the inferno was only 10% contained Sunday.

25,000 homes threatened

At least 25,000 homes are threatened by five wildfires, according to the fire protection agency CAL FIRE.

9,000 firefighters

As of Sunday, 5,773 firefighters were tackling the Thomas Fire alone.

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

Thousands more firefighters– including some from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington state — were involved in fighting the other wildfires.

85,000 power outages

Santa Barbara County has suffered intermittent (but widespread) power outages due to the Thomas Fire. Southern California Edison said that outages and surges had left up to 85,000 customers without electricity.

296 index

Every day, Los Angeles firefighters receive a brush burning index report that indicates the fire danger. If it’s 162 or higher, that’s considered extreme. Late last week, it was 296 — a record.

98,000 evacuees

At least 98,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California, according to CAL FIRE.

$10 billion

This year has been the costliest for wildfires in the United States. Damages have topped $10 billion in 2017 — and that was before the current spate of Southern California fires began.