Rainfall eases major California fire

California firefighters were able to bring a large wildfire near Los Angeles under control after a tropical storm brought rain and cooler temperatures, U.S. authorities announced Saturday.

The Fairview fire was 40 percent contained Saturday night after two deaths, fire officials said.

The fire broke out Monday amid a heat wave affecting the southwestern United States, burning 11,300 acres and destroying more than 20 buildings.

In contrast, the remnants of Storm Kay, which made landfall Thursday in Mexico as a hurricane before moving north along the Pacific coast, brought rain that helped calm the fire.

“The intensity of the fire has been significantly reduced due to the moisture from Tropical Storm Kay,” said a statement from Cal Fire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Authorities warned, however, that the rains brought the risk of flash flooding and mudslides in areas where the burned soil cannot absorb excess water.

“We could go from a fire suppression event to a major rain event with water rescues and mudslides,” fire official Jeff Veik said Friday.

The western United States has been in a historic drought for more than two decades, which scientists say is being exacerbated by human-caused climate change. Much of the land is parched and overgrown, creating the conditions for wildfires.

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