Evacuations ordered for California burn areas as rain begins

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Evacuations have been ordered for communities below hillsides charred by California's largest-ever wildfire as the first major winter storm of the season brings rare rain and raises the risk of mudslides.

The wet and windy system moving ashore Monday could soak much of the state and drop several inches in parts of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, where the Thomas fire has burned for more than a month and left hillsides bare.

Residents of Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria who were evacuated because of flames in  December were ordered to leave again because rains could wash dirt and debris down into neighborhoods.

About an inch of rain is forecast for downtown Los Angeles, the most in nearly a year.

Snow could make for treacherous driving conditions in mountain areas early Tuesday.

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