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Lighter Winds May Help Battle Calif. Blaze

Lighter Winds May Help Battle Calif. Blaze Lighter Winds May Help Battle Calif. Blaze

Lighter winds expected in California early this week should help firefighters in their battle against one of the largest and most destructive wildfires in the state's history, the US National Weather Service said. By late Sunday, more than 8,500 firefighters had contained about 45% of the fire in Southern California. Dubbed the Thomas Fire, it began Dec. 4 and has scorched 270,000 acres (109,000 hectares) along the scenic Pacific Coast north of Los Angeles, Reuters reported. Its size is approaching that of the 2003 Cedar blaze in San Diego County, the largest wildfire in state history, which consumed 273,246 acres and caused 15 deaths. While wind and low humidity will still create dangerous fire conditions, "improving weather conditions should allow firefighters to make progress on the fire" on Monday and Tuesday, the National Weather Service said on Twitter. Officials said calmer winds also helped make Sunday one of their most productive days yet, battling a blaze that has been fueled by fierce Santa Ana winds sweeping in from eastern California deserts.

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