Firefighters finally get some help from rain

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (AP) - Rain is finally helping firefighters gain some ground on a stubborn wildfire in the Southern California mountains.

An inch and a half of rain was measured this morning at the aerial tramway near Palm Springs, and more rainfall is expected throughout the day.

With the 42-square-mile blaze almost half contained, authorities are able to lift evacuation orders for several communities.

But it's still far from extinguished, and it's less than two miles from Idyllwild on its western flank.

More than 2,600 firefighters are battling the blaze today, using bulldozers, helicopters and other equipment.

The fire, which started last Monday, has destroyed 23 structures, including seven homes, and forced the evacuation of about 6,000 people.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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