Southern California on fire: What you need to know

Updated: Dec. 14, 3:30 pm

A firefighter has died while fighting the Thomas Fire, which continues to blaze and is the fourth largest fire in California history.

Cal Fire identified the San Diego-based firefighter as Cory Iverson.

The blaze began on December 4 and has burned more than 240,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, threatening thousands of structures and forcing hundreds of thousands of evacuations.

The high winds and dry weather has made it particularly challenging to put out the Thomas Fire, which was one of several burning in Southern California.

If you think it feels apocalyptic, you’re not alone. Speaking to KCRW’s Press Play Monday, Jet Propulsion Laboratory climate expert Bill Patzert laid out the extreme climate conditions that have made the fires burn so strongly.

Here’s the current size of each fire:

  • Thomas Fire, Ventura: 242,500 acres, 30 percent contained.
  • Creek Fire San Fernando Valley: 15,619 acres, 98 percent contained.   
  • Rye Fire near Six Flags Magic Mountain: 6,049 acres, extinguished
  • Skirball Fire: 422 acres, 90 percent contained
  • Liberty Fire: 300 acres, 100 percent contained.  
  • Lilac fire,  San Diego County: 4,100 acres, 97 percent contained

Here’s a map of fires across the region