SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says this year’s above average rainfall helped to tamp down the number of acres burnt in wildfires.

Late-season storms kept portions of the Sierra Nevada covered in dense snow through the Fourth of July.

A state tally shows wildfires consumed 92,212 acres this year, a drop from the 93,000 acres burnt in 2010 on state-managed land as well as national forests overseen by the federal government.

Cal Fire spokeswoman Mary Welna says several Northern California units declared peak wildfire season over this week, and sent about half the on-duty firefighters home for the winter.

Santa Clara unit battalion chief Jim Crawford tells the San Jose Mercury News the mild season came as a relief, since budget cuts have forced staff reductions.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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