‘Thank You, Firefighters’: Signs of Gratitude During the Holidays

They have been fighting one of California's largest and most destructive wildfires since Dec. 4 -- three weeks of arduous work in hot, dry, windy and dangerous conditions. As families gather to celebrate Christmas, about 1,500 firefighters continue to battle the largest wildfire on record in California.

20 photos
More than 1,500 firefighters worked through Christmas Day to strengthen and increase fire lines around the Thomas fire.
Ventura County Fire Department
Santa visited the Thomas Fire base camp Sunday Dec. 24, 2017, as firefighters work through the holidays.
Thank-you cards are left for firefighters who attended a Christmas dinner served by a grateful community Dec. 25, 2017 in Ventura.
Hundreds of firefighters were served Christmas dinner Dec. 25, 2017 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
A woman from Hemet delivered pots of tamales to firefighters Dec.25, 2017 in Ventura.
A firefighter hugs a woman who served tamales at a thank-you dinner for Christmas Dec. 25, 2017.
Chad Anderson
A sign of thanks for firefighters and first responders.
Ventura County Fire Department
Firefighters hold a #VenturaStrong sign in recognition of a community that faced the Thomas fire, California's largest wildfire and one of its most destructive.
Gregory Bull/AP
Firefighter Simon Garcia, of Heartland Fire Dept., gets a hug from a woman who did not give her name after she arrived to find her house was intact in the Rancho Monserate Country Club, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Fallbrook, Calif. The wind-swept blazes have forced tens of thousands of evacuations and destroyed dozens of homes in Southern California.
Ventura County Fire Department
Firefighters set backfires during a respite from strong wind gusts and they try to increase containment Dec. 19, 2017 in the Thomas fire zone.
David McNew/Getty Images
A Hot Shot crew cuts a line among homes at the Thomas Fire on December 16, 2017, in Montecito, California.
Getty Images
A Hot Shot crew climbs a hill while cutting a line among homes at the Thomas Fire on December 16, 2017, in Montecito, California.
David McNew/Getty Images
A firefighter cuts brush at the Thomas Fire on December 7, 2017, near Fillmore, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A Murrieta firefighter uses a garden hose to extinguish an ember in a trailer while battling the Thomas fire on December 7, 2017, in Ojai, California.
Jae C. Hong/AP
Firefighters remove furniture from a home destroyed in a wildfire in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles on Dec. 6, 2017.
Jae C. Hong/AP
Firefighters stand on the rooftop of a beach house to water down the property while battling a wildfire at Faria State Beach in Ventura on Dec. 7, 2017.
Jae C. Hong/AP
Palm trees sway in a gust of wind as a firefighter carries a water hose while battling a wildfire at Faria State Beach in Ventura on Dec. 7, 2017.
Getty Images
Firefighters and bystanders watch as a procession carries the body of Cory Iverson, 32, a fire engineer for Cal Fire San Diego who died fighting the Thomas Fire, from Ventura to San Diego on Dec. 17, 2017, in Pasadena.
Firefighters monitor the Thomas fire as it burns through Los Padres National Forest near Ojai on Dec. 8, 2017.
Jae C. Hong/AP
Firefighters put out a wildfire burning in an orchard Dec. 5, 2017, in Santa Paula.
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