The first significant rain in months in northern California all but extinguished the deadliest wildfire in the state's history on Wednesday but also raised risks of flash flooding that could hinder teams searching for human remains.
Between 4-6 inches (102-152 mm) of rain was expected to fall through the weekend in areas around the town of Paradise, the community of nearly 27,000 people 175 miles (280 km) northeast of San Francisco that was largely incinerated by the so-called Camp Fire.
The blaze killed at least 83 people and 563 remain unaccounted for, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news briefing.
"The rain is a concern for us and there is the potential for mudflows," Honea said. Searchers would be pulled out of areas threatened by mudslides, he said.
The storm added to the misery of evacuees camped out in a Walmart parking lot in nearby Chico.
Mitchell Manley was cold and wet but thankful he persuaded his elderly mother to evacuate. He said most of the dead were retirees who thought they could ride out the flames in their homes.
"I was lucky to get her out, she was going to sit it out," said Manley, who was camping at Walmart while he waited to go back to his home in Concow.
Warehouses were opened in Chico to provide evacuees protection from the cold and rain as celebrity chef Jose Andres prepared to cook hundreds of Thanksgiving meals for evacuees.
Some 830 people had signed up to spend their Thanksgiving combing through ash and rubble in forecast heavy rain, searching for human remains, Honea said.