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.
El Niño is not expected to end the California drought but ‘atmospheric rivers’ might help.
Forecasters say the chances are diminishing that El Niño will bring rain to California.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District's shade tree program has been around for 25 years. In spite of the drought, the utility says it will continue to fund the program for at least another two years because of the benefits trees provide.
Environmental groups say the recent California Legislative session was a big win for coastal protection, clean water among other issues.
The City of Sacramento wants to continue a washing machine rebate program that started in 2009 until the end of the decade.