Fire-scarred California turns cool, but rain outlook fizzles

California weather turned cool Thursday as firefighters worked to increase containment of numerous wildfires, but a once-promising prospect of significant weekend rain in some areas was fizzling.

“The rain event is now turning into a non-event,” the San Francisco Bay Area weather office wrote.

Instead, the most likely precipitation is expected to be drizzle or light showers, followed by dry and warming conditions starting early next week, with potential for winds.

“This pattern will be closely monitored in the coming days for increased fire weather concerns, especially since wetting rains are now unlikely,” the weather service said.

More than 15,000 firefighters were on the lines of 22 major wildfires Thursday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

More than 8,400 wildfires have scorched well over 4 million acres (16,187 square kilometers) since the beginning of the year. There have been 31 fatalities and more than 9,200 structures have been destroyed.

Most of the loss has occurred since a mid-August blitz of lightning ignited fires in northern and central sections of the state amid withering dry heat. Several large fires have burned in Southern California.