Wildfire Threat Remains Despite Rain

Drizzle temporarily aids firefighters overnight in Springs Fire

Even though rain showers and gloomy weather are possible through Tuesday -- a welcome relief  for firefighters battling blazes across the region -- it won't be enough to quench dry brush and chaparral in drought conditions, forecasters said.

The tenth of an inch of rain is expected through Tuesday. Weather specialists recorded just over 5 inches of rain so far this season, a third of what the region normally sees, said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The rain season runs from July 1 to June 30.

Full Coverage: Southern California Wildfires

Cool, cloudy conditions and light drizzle overnight Saturday helped firefighters battling the 28,000-acre Springs Fire, the region's largest so far, which officials hope to fully contain by Tuesday.

“We’ve been behind for the last two rain seasons,” Sweet said.

The chance of rain Sunday night could give way to partially clearing skies and temperatures that could hover in the 70s in some parts of the Los Angeles region by Friday.

Last week, dry heat and Santa Ana winds combined to fuel multiple fires, foreshadowing fears of more blazes come fall -- the driest and hottest time of the season in Southern California.

"There’s a lot of dry brush out there," said Quvondo Johnson, spokesman with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. "There's always a potential to have a major fire."

The Springs Fire -- which charred 44 square miles of brush in the Santa Monica Mountains along the Ventura/Los Angeles County line -- is one of more than 680 wildfires in the state so far this year - about 200 more than average, according to CalFire.

Capt. Mike Lindberry of the Ventura County Fire Department said the overcast conditions since Saturday evening have helped curb the spread of the Springs Fire and reduced the amount of heat-related injuries among firefighters.

Thousands of firefighters -- aided by water and fire-retardant dropping planes and helicopters -- have been battling the Springs Fire that broke out off the Ventura Freeway in the Conejo Grade in Camarillo on Thursday.

“I love to see it rain,” Lindberry said. “But not too hard. We have a danger of mudslides if a serious amount of rain comes down."

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