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Containment Jumps to 88% for 3-Week-Old Thomas Fire

Firefighters battling the Thomas Fire were edging toward full containment on Sunday, even as the size of the 3-week-old blaze continued to grow.

As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, the fire had blackened 281,620 acres and was 88 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The main remaining hot spot is in Los Padres National Forest north of Ojai.

A week ago, crews initiated a firing operation north of the main fire and west of Cherry Creek Road. Flames from that operation have been slowly advancing southward toward the main fire, as intended, fire officials said.

An additional mile of containment line along Cherry Creek Road closed the loop, creating an interior pocket of burned and unburned vegetation.

Another hot spot is in the rugged Bear Heaven area of the forest north of the city of Fillmore.

“Air support with water drops is being used due to steep, rugged terrain with limited access,” officials said.

Target date for full containment of the fire is Jan. 7.

Nearly 1,600 personnel remain assigned to the fire, which destroyed 1,063 structures and damaged 280 others.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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