Firefighters Look To Rain To Help Curb Wildfires

JUNCTION CITY, Calif. (AP) - Firefighters are looking to scattered showers forecast for California's northern mountains to help rein in the last wildfires still keeping residents from their homes.

Junction City residents remained under mandatory evacuation orders for a third day Sunday as a massive blaze crept across the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The month-old fire had spread to nearly 87 square miles by Sunday and was 49 percent contained.

Fire officials said cool, moist coastal air was bringing falling temperatures and possibly rain, though warmer inland air was expected to raise temperatures again in the coming week.

All but 34 of the nearly 2,100 fires sparked by lighting storms across the state last month have been contained after charring almost 1 million acres.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-20-08 1332EDT

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