SAN FRANCISCO (Associated Press) — Firefighters battling massive California wildfires say thunderstorms that dropped light rain gave them a little breathing room but lightning sparked several new blazes in the drought-stricken north.
Storms rolling through Thursday night and Friday dumped up to a half-inch of rain over portions of the Dixie Fire in the Sierra Nevada.
The Dixie Fire is the second-largest fire in state history. Firefighters say the wet vegetation will slow its progress for a couple of days until things begin heating up and drying out again.
Meanwhile, lightning strikes ignited at least 17 new fires, although most were tiny. More than 13,000 firefighters are working to rein in 13 major blazes across the state.