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Rain hits Northern California; ‘extreme’ fire danger continues in Reno area

by Michael McGough, Sacramento Bee |

Sacramento was wet Monday, as a weak storm system bringing morning showers across most of Northern California was set to be followed by scattered afternoon thunderstorms.

Showers started shortly after 7 a.m., picking up steam around 8 a.m. Forecasters expected a quarter-inch of precipitation; a thunderstorm would boost that total.

Monday night was expected be clear and Tuesday will be sunny before a slight, 20 percent chance of showers returns to the region Wednesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service’s Reno office has issued an “extreme red flag warning” along the U.S. Highway 395 corridor through Monday evening, as the storm system hitting Northern California has already brought gusty winds to northeast California and greater Reno area.

Despite “rain, isolated thunder and high elevation light snow showers,” conditions remained conducive to fire activity, as very gusty winds will continue to sweep through the area from Susanville to Mammoth Lakes.

Gusts reached 40 mph in the area of the Walker Fire, a 53,000-acre wildfire burning in northeastern California’s Plumas National Forest Sunday. The extreme red flag warning remained in place through 6 p.m. Monday. Gusts as high as 60 mph are possible, the NWS Reno office says.