How did the Thomas fire tearing through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties become such a monster?
Anatomy of an Inferno
The rugged terrain of Los Padres National Forest beckons with its beauty, but when wildfire strikes, it is an unforgiving beast. Heavy winds, dry conditions and thick brush have combined to make the Thomas fire the fifth-largest in modern California history; as of Monday, it had destroyed more than 600 homes and cost more than $38 million to battle. Just as firefighters learned in 1932, fighting the...