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Dec
22

California wildfire becomes largest on record in the state

California wildfire becomes largest on record in the stateA sprawling Southern California wildfire that has been burning through rugged, drought-parched coastal terrain since Dec. 4 has become the largest on record in the state, state fire officials said on Friday. The so-called Thomas fire has blazed through 273,400 acres (110,641 hectares), surpassing the previous record of the 2003 Cedar fire in San Diego County that scorched 273,246 acres and killed 15 people, they said. Incremental increases in burned acreage detected by daily aerial surveys since then have been largely due to controlled-burning operations conducted by firefighters to clear swaths of vegetation between the smoldering edges of the fire zone and populated areas.