Highway 101 full closure in Montecito planned until Monday

Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Ryan Thomas hikes down steep terrain rendered barren by the Thomas Fire last month. Authorities announced Friday they had reached 100 percent containment of the fire which is the largest in modern California history

Highway 101 full closure in Montecito planned until Monday

Authorities determined the fire was completely contained after survey flights over the burn area Thursday. In an ongoing effort to provide transportation during the closure, Santa Barbara Airbus continues to operate their LAX shuttle service under a modified schedule to offer travelers a way to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

In all, the Thomas Fire destroyed 1,063 structures and damaged another 280, according to the Forest Service.

Cory Iverson, a 32-year-old firefighter with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, died last month while battling the Thomas Fire.

After the Thomas Fire, the next-largest wildfire in the state's history occurred in 2003, when the Cedar Fire near San Diego burned through 273,246 acres. Heavy rain in the early hours of Tuesday morning triggered flooding and mudflows in areas burned by wildfires previous year. The Thomas Fire left hillsides and landscape vulnerable in the region, with Montecito receiving the brunt of the downpour and destruction, resulting in at least 13 deaths, 25 injured and 50 rescues by air and dozens by ground due to mudslides and flooding. Nearly the entire community of Montecito ― around 10,000 people ― was as emergency responders continued to sift through the rubble.

However, Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Amber Anderson said that number could still fluctuate. After a wildfire, flood risk is usually highest until vegetation returns, which can take up to five years.

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