KTVU staff - After about two weeks of beating back flames, the rain overnight on Thursday was a welcome bonus to firefighters out on the front lines of more than a dozen Northern California wildfires.
The National Weather Service documented the rainfall in each of the fire hot zones, showing how the precipitation was blanketing the scorched earth.
"It's awesome," KTVU meteorologist Steve Paulson said of the rain, noting that the Boulder Creek area in the Santa Cruz mountains received about a third of an inch of precipitation overnight. "It's great news. It's going to help the firefighters a lot."
Already on Friday, the two largest fires in Sonoma and Napa county were nearly contained: The Tubbs Fire was 92 percent contained, the Atlas Fire was 83 percent contained, the Nuns Fire was 82 percent contained.
Further north, the Redwood Valley Fire in Mendocino County Fire was 90 percent contained and the Sulphur Fire in Lake County was 96 percent contained.
With the combined efforts of the firefighters and the weather, residents of Santa Rosa were being allowed back home on Friday.
Beginning at 10 a.m., residents of the hardest hit areas, Coffey Park, Orchard Park mobile home community off Piner Road and Journey's End mobile home park on Medocino Avenue will receive entry passes, pass law enforcement check points and then will be allowed in to see what's left, if anything, of their hojes.
"It's still going to be devastating to go in," Pamela Jensen said, "the memories we had there."