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Storm threat a wildcard for California wildfire

July 21, 2013
The Associated Press

IDYLLWILD, Calif. - Firefighters got little help from Mother Nature on Saturday as much-needed rainfall from expected thunderstorms didn't materialize for a huge wildfire burning in the Southern California mountains near Palm Springs. Fire officials were hopeful the storms, which can also bring wind, lightning and other volatile conditions, would douse some of the flames, but they said there hadn't been any significant rainfall. Cooler temperatures overnight, however, helped firefighters make progress on the fire's northern and southern flanks, as personnel worked to spare nearby desert communities from damage. Thunderstorms present a major threat to progress this weekend. Combined with hot air on the ground, the unstable air could create a strong updraft that draws smoke high into the atmosphere, fire spokesman Capt. Mike Lindbery said.

 
 

 

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