California wildfires: Cool weather respite to burn away this week

The wet weather that's been aiding firefighters in N. Calif. to be replaced by summer heat this weekend

A storm system that has helped firefighters in their battle against a series of massive wildfires in Northern California is expected to move out by the end of the week, and when it does, the summer heat will return, forecasters warned.

The low-pressure system has dropped more than an inch of rain in some areas of the state since Sunday, but could be out of the picture by Thursday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Stefanie Henry.

That means firefighters can say goodbye to the cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels that helped them increase containment of several large blazes burning in state and national forests.

“All these things have been helping with the fires in the area,” Henry said. “It’ll keep us in a bit better condition, but it won’t last long.”

The rainy veil should be lifted by Friday, with temperatures across the region expected to climb back into the 90s, she added.

Although the thunderstorms have tamped down on temperatures and raised humidity levels, they've also been blamed for sparking dozens of wildfires in Central and Northern California since late July.

The series of fires have burned more than 100,000 acres and forced several mountain communities to evacuate. In Shasta County, dementia  patients in Burney were forced to relocate more than 50 miles to Redding.

Among the biggest blazes still burning are the Beaver fire, which have burned more than 36,000 acres and is 35% contained; the Bald fire in Lassen National Forest that has scorched 39,000 acres and is 35% contained; and the Eiler fire which has burned more than 31,000 acres and was 35% contained.

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