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Idyllwild fire mostly contained. Now mudslide threatens California homes.

With the Idyllwild fire 85 percent contained early Tuesday, some residents now face the potential for flooding and mudslides in burned areas. Storms doused flames from the Idyllwild fire, but forced the evacuation of 20 homes in the path of potential flooding and mudslides.

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A ladder truck flies the American flag to greet residents back to Idyllwild, Calif., after the evacuation order was rescinded Sunday in the areas affected by the Idyllwild fire.

Terry Pierson/The Press-Enterprise/AP

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A Southern California wildfire that destroyed seven homes and threatened the mountain town of Idyllwild was sluggish after a thunderstorm drenched the timberland, and more storms doused the remaining flames on Monday.

The 43-square-mile fire above Palm Springs was 85 percent contained. It didn't move overnight and crews concentrated Monday on surrounding it on ridges thousands of feet up in the San Jacinto Mountains, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Lee Beyer said.

"It's pretty much in the smoldering category right now," Beyer said. "There's no moving fire."

The rain was beneficial for firefighters, but powerful downpours also raise the potential for flooding and mudslides in recently burned areas, prompting authorities to issue a voluntary evacuation warning for about 20 homes several miles southeast of Idyllwild.

 

With rain in the area "it has the potential to be more serious," Beyer said. "If it's raining hard now, it's going to be bringing the mud down in a very short time."

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