Small Chance of Rain Possible Over Thomas Fire Burn Area

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — There’s finally a chance for some rain over the smoldering remnants of the giant Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Forecasters are expecting at most a tenth of an inch (2.5 millimeters) on Wednesday, and possibly more rain during the weekend or the following week.

Santa Barbara Airport has recorded almost no rain since the start of the water year Oct. 1. Normally, it would have recorded more than 5 inches (127 millimeters) by now.

The fire broke out Dec. 4 in Ventura County and swept into Santa Barbara County, scorching 440 square miles (1,139 square kilometers) before it finally died down. More than 1,000 structures were destroyed and 280 damaged.

Firefighters are monitoring smoldering pockets in wilderness and assessing flood risk in denuded watersheds.