Heavy Rains Complicate CA Wildfire Fight

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Thunderstorms brought much-needed rain to California Sunday, but also complicated week-long firefighting efforts in the state.

Rains caused a huge mudslide, some 300 yards wide and three feet deep, to sweep through the eastern Sierra Nevada.

"If it isn't fire, it's flood. If it isn't fire or flood, it's the mud," said interagency fire spokeswoman Christina Lilienthal.

The mudslide damaged about 50 homes, cut off a wildfire escape rout in the Sequoia National Forest and forced many residents to evacuate.

At the same time, the milder weather allowed thousands of other residents in fire-threatened areas to return home.

Firefighters say they continue to make headway on the more than 250 fires still burning across the state.

But the weeks of firefighting are taking their toll.

"If you look at our battle that we're fighting right now, we have aircraft and ground resources," firefighter Mike Mohler said.  "It's almost like we're fighting a war."

President Bush plans to visit the worst hit areas this week.

More than 1,100 square miles have burned since the fires started three weeks ago.

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