The Rim Fire burned 400 square miles mostly in Tuolumne County from the middle of August to the end of September.
Fallen trees, barren ground, and damaged roads made the prospect of cleanup uncertain with winter on the way.
Pam Baltimore of the U.S. Forest Service says the drought has actually been a help because recovery crews haven't been hampered by normal winter weather.
"They had just a couple of days, the first part of December, that they were not able to get in but the snow went away quickly and they've been able to get in and out as they need to," says Baltimore.
Baltimore says crews are installing culverts to aid runoff and they're clearing debris.
The Rim Fire was the third largest fire in California's history and Baltimore says even short term recovery could take two to five years.
A new study shows fire-fighting foam containing highly fluorinated chemicals is contaminating drinking water supplies around many of the nation's military bases, airports and industrial sites.
Update 8:00 p.m. Sunday: Crews are making "good progress" on the Cold Fire in Yolo County, now at 60% containment. In Monterey County, the Soberanes Fire remains at 45% containment with wind creating an additional challenge for firefighters.
The Soberanes Fire near Big Sur is burning in a rugged area that hasn't "seen fire in decades." The wildfire is 45 percent contained at 57,500 acres.
When urbanites encounter honey bees, some run away in fear while others dream of honey. Two women are on a mission to help people feel more at ease with bees while boosting the urban ecosystem.
The drought intensified over the last week in the Western U.S. as the region swelters under a heatwave and firefighters battle major wildfires.