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.
The Nevada city of Sparks has decided to stop trapping and killing beavers along the North Truckee Drain and seek a non-lethal alternative to remove them.
A movement around the U.S. encourages people to skip the shopping malls Friday and spend time in nature. Some national parks and state parks in California are waiving entry fees.
The 19th annual Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival this weekend is expected to bring thousands of visitors to see the stately birds.
The Pacific Storm system brought some slight improvement to drought conditions in California and Nevada last week.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing more than $30 million to California and Nevada native tribes for water quality and environmental restoration projects.