The brush fires are not going away.

Despite the return of calm to the L.A. hills after last week’s Skirball and Creek fires, the Thomas Fire out in Ventura is still growing, like a monster from another world. It’s creeping into Santa Barbara County and now has burned an area greater than the size of New York City.

That’s more than 230,000 acres of charred land, and counting. This morning the fire is approaching Montecito and Carpinteria. Briefly overnight there was a scare back up in the Bay Area, which earlier this fire season suffered the deadly North Bay fires. Those caught up to people in their houses as they were sleeping.

We’ve been here before.

Year after year Southern California especially gets hit by wildfires that leave lives shattered and homes destroyed. The troubling part is that fires of this intensity are unusual in December, yet another notch on what every sane scientist has said would happen once climate change reaches a tipping point.

Look at the numbers: Cal Fire, or the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said that in 2016 there were 4,742 wildfires through December 3. In 2017, we’ve had 6,762 wildfires — and burned more than twice the acreage — in the same period.

Gov. Jerry Brown, on his way to another climate conference with world leaders in Paris, warned that it could get worse and worse, and told CBS flat out: “The planet is warming, and all hell is breaking loose.”

The biggest of all this year is the Thomas Fire, which grew stronger over the week and like a blob began extending into Santa Barbara County. Capt. Brendan Ripley of the Ventura County Fire Department said the fire is so powerful it’s creating its own weather, making it officially a firestorm, according to the Daily News.

Most of the other 18 million of us in SoCal who didn’t die, lose their homes, or evacuate in these fires will not have to see them up-close. We take for granted that thousands of firefighters are out there, many of them from the prisons population, making sure the fires don’t burn out of control and consume us all.

But we are reminded of the wildfires’ power by following the streams of the news photographers who head up to the front-lines to capture images. The photographers are offering us a glimpse into the resilience and bravery of the people who confront these blazes.

We’ve heard the terrible stories of people being caught by flames or standing by as their houses burn. The pictures reach out with emotions of sympathy or sadness or bravery; remember Leo Tapia. We’re glad we don’t have to be one of them — this time.

A stand-out in the coverage of the Thomas Fire is Marcus Yam of the L.A. Times. Yam shook us all from Day 1 with the almost painterly portrait of a bunch of standing palm tries burning to death in a glowing orange sea of fire.

See more of Yam’s photos via his Twitter and IG. Follow @LATimesPhotos for more images from the skilled photogs hustling at the big daily.

Another standout for me is Gene Blevins, who seems to be a freelancer with agencies, and doesnt appear to do social media. He took a photo of the same subject as Yam’s above: