Oregon crews fighting California fires could be home before Christmas

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, firefighters keep an eye on flames as pockets of unburned vegetation flare up off Bella Vista Dr. in Montecito, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. After announcing increased containment on the Thomas fire, one of the biggest wildfires in California history, officials Wednesday warned that communities remain at risk and the threat could increase as unpredictable winds whip up again. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

Among the firefighters on the front lines of the wildfires burning in Southern California are Oregonians giving local crews a hand.

Fueled by the Santa Ana winds, the Thomas Fire has grown to about 400 square miles and is the fourth-largest blaze in California history.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office said Sunday that some of the firefighters may be back home by Christmas.

Officials say that as winds are calming and crews are gaining ground, they plan to start demobilizing mid-week.

About 8,000 total firefighters are working to contain the Thomas Fire, which is threatening about 18,000 homes and structures. As of Sunday, it is considered about 40 percent contained.

READ MORE: 'Firefighting at Christmas' may become normal in California



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