California fire now second-largest in state history
LOS ANGELES - A wildfire that's burned hundreds of homes in coastal mountains northwest of Los Angeles is now the second-largest blaze in California history.
State fire officials say the 425-acre Thomas fire burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties is slightly larger than the 2012 Rush fire in Lassen County.
The fire, which is only 55 percent contained Tuesday night, is only about 1,200 acres smaller than the state's largest fire. That blaze, the 2003 Cedar fire in San Diego, killed 15 people.
A firefighter and a fleeing civilian have died in the Thomas fire that broke out on Dec. 4. It continues to threaten 18,000 homes and other buildings.
Firefighters say decreasing winds and higher humidity are helping them but brush in the area remains tinder-dry.