King fire in Northern California weakens thanks to days of rain

A burned-out truck sits in front of a structure that was destroyed by the King fire on Sept. 19 near Pollock Pines, Calif.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

A massive wildfire that consumed more than 97,000 acres just east of Sacramento is dying out after a storm dumped several inches of rain in the region.

The King fire burning in the Eldorado National Forest is nearly 90% contained after four days of rain halted the advance of flames, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Forest Service spokesman Jim Mackensen said “Mother Nature” lashed the fast-moving wildfire forward, and now it’s halting it in its tracks.

“It’s kind of ironic on both ends of the spectrum,” he said.

With the decreased fire activity, the number of people battling the King fire has been reduced from nearly 8,000 to 4,420.

Cleanup efforts are underway as firefighters work to tamp down heavier fuels -- dry vegetation that can act as kindling -- that were sheltered from the rain by a dense forest canopy.


The rain produced some minor mudflows, and threatened at least one home, but firefighters were able to stabilize the area, Mackensen said.

Crews were evaluating homes and damaged buildings that may be endangered by future mudslides, he said.

Mackensen warned that activity may pick up over the next few days when higher temperatures, dry conditions and stronger winds return.

But he said the weather change will have little effect on the King fire’s containment lines.

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