VENTURA, Calif. - The huge wildfire that led to this week's devastating debris flows in Montecito, California, is finally 100 percent contained.
The U.S. Forest Service made the announcement Friday after aerial surveys of the 440-square-mile (1,140-square-kilometer) scar left by the so-called Thomas fire.
Fire officials said the forest closures within the footprint of the Thomas Fire remain in effect until further assessments can be made and deemed safe for the public to re-enter.
Los Padres National Forest is closed to the public within the Thomas Fire perimeter on the Santa Barbara and Ojai Ranger Districts. The Sage Hill Group Campground is temporarily closed while fire crews use the area as a base camp.
The fire ignited on December 4 and quickly spread to Ventura causing thousands of people living in the Southern California area to evacuate. The blaze destroyed 1,063 structures.
It continued to smolder before a drenching Pacific storm hit bare hills and mountains this week, unleashing debris-laden flash floods that swept away homes and killed at least 17 people.
The Thomas fire, contained at 281,893 acres was the largest wildfire in recorded California history.