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Tracy Porter, of Paradise, Calif., uses an axe to fragment a burning tree damaged by the Eiler Fire on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, in the Lassen National Park near Hat Creek, Calif. / Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

LOS ANGELES ?? Californians are seeing fire and rain, with isolated but intense disasters at both ends of the state.

Parts of drought-stricken Southern California dug out Monday from deadly rainstorms. And Northern California, where rain falls more frequently, battled persistent wildfires in tinder-dry mountain forests.

"The gods are angry," joked Janus Blythe of Palm Springs. "I wish it was a steady rain instead of just coming down all at once, because then it floods."

Heavy rain from monsoonal weather that caused flash flooding in the desert around Palm Springs on Sunday also caused mudslides that washed out roads and killed at least one person in the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles.

At Mount Baldy, an unincorporated community above 4,100 feet elevation, San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Jeff Britton said eight homes were "likely lost'' to damage from the water and mud.

Crews with heavy equipment cleared roads in an area where 2,500 people had been stranded by several feet of debris across local roads. A group of about 500 campers spent Sunday night at a community center in the Forest Falls area before a road was cleared Monday.

The body of a man was recovered from a vehicle that was washed off a roadway and into a mountain stream near Mt. Baldy. He was identified as Joo Hwan Lee, 48, of El Segundo.

In the desert, a lane and shoulder of Interstate 10 about 40 miles east of Indio were washed away, according to a dispatcher with the California Highway Patrol.

The rain, while badly needed, wasn't enough to reverse the deep drought gripping much of California. The heaviest amounts, more than 5 inches near Mount Baldy, fell in isolated areas, while the broader Los Angeles region saw fractions of an inch.

In Northern California, firefighters were battling fires on multiple fronts, with nearly 1,500 firefighters focused on a pair of stubborn blazes near the small town of Burney between the Shasta and Lassen national forests. More than 100 square miles of terrain has burned. Firefighters said they had contained one of the fires, but the other was only 20% contained.

Residents of Burney were on a an evacuation watch after the Shasta County sheriff ordered residents of three small nearby communities to leave. The state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said more than 700 residences were threatened.

The two fires, among 14 burning in the state, started within a day of each other in Lassen National Forest. and spread onto private land. Mayer Memorial Hospital in Burney evacuated some patients to a hospital in Redding, 55 miles away. Officials said eight homes had burned.

Contributing: Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY; The (Palm Springs) Desert Sun; Associated Press



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: California sees fire, rain, mud, muck

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