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The Thomas Fire is largest in California history

In this Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, flames from a back firing operation underway rise behind a home off Ladera Lane near Bella Vista Drive in Santa Barbara, Calif. Red Flag warnings for the critical combination of low humidity and strong winds expired for a swath of Southern California at midmorning but a new warning was scheduled to go into effect Saturday in the fire area due to the predicted return of winds. The so-called Thomas Fire, the fourth-largest in California history, was 35 percent contained after sweeping across more than 394 square miles (1,020 sq. kilometers) of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties since it erupted Dec. 4 a few miles from Thomas Aquinas College. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

According to CalFire, the Thomas Fire is now the largest in California history. It has burned 273,400 acres and is 65% contained.

All remaining significant evacuation orders for areas around the smoldering remnants of Southern California's huge wildfire were canceled Thursday after a new round of winds caused little fire activity.

The lifting of evacuation orders and warnings in Santa Barbara County left only remote and little developed Rose Valley in the wilderness of neighboring Ventura County under an order barring residents and visitors.

Warnings of high fire risk were canceled for Santa Barbara County, although they remained in effect elsewhere in Southern California due to Santa Ana winds, low humidity levels and very dry vegetation.

The only visible flame was on the northern side of the fire where controlled burns set by firefighters to clear combustible material were being conducted in wilderness, said fire information officer Brandon Vaccaro.

About 18,000 homes and other buildings were still listed as threatened. Even when there's no sign of flame or smoke, fires can rekindle.

The Thomas fire, which began Dec. 4, is responsible for two deaths, has destroyed at least 750 homes, and has burned about 425 square miles (1,100 square kilometers).

The blaze was 65 percent contained and is the second-largest in California's history.

The latest round of winds was caused by the passage of a cold front into the area overnight. But firefighters had used three days of calm conditions to bulldoze containment lines and set controlled fires to clear dry brush.

Days and days of fierce, often erratic gusts combined with extremely dry weather pushed the blaze with incredible speed as it moved through Ventura County's agricultural Santa Clara Valley, into the city of Ventura and then moved northwestward, threatening the coastal communities of Santa Barbara County.

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