The Latest: California rain not seen as threat to Montecito

The Latest on a Northern California storm (all times local):

9:02 a.m.

The big storm entering Northern California is not expected to threaten areas recently scarred by wildfires in the southern half of the state.

Santa Barbara County officials say the rainfall predicted for Friday and Saturday doesn't meet thresholds for evacuations and there is, at most, very low risk for mud and debris flows.

The south Santa Barbara County community of Montecito was devastated by massive debris-laden torrents on Jan. 9 when a storm unleashed a deluge on a huge burn scar in the mountains above town.

County officials say they are monitoring the storm in case it intensifies.

Most of Southern California will get little to no rain but gusty winds are expected in the mountains and deserts while beaches will see high surf.

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7:35 a.m.

Authorities are warning morning commuters to drive slowly and watch out for standing water as heavy rain pelts Northern California.

A spring storm is expected to dump several inches of rain on burn-scarred areas of wine country through Saturday.

Santa Rosa fire department spokesman Paul Lowenthal says the city has additional firefighters and emergency staff on hand Friday.

The storm could also bring the biggest test so far of a partly finished new spillway at the nation's tallest dam.

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12:05 a.m.

Northern California is bracing for a major spring storm that is expected to dump several inches of rain on burn-scarred areas of wine country. It could also bring the biggest test so far of a partly finished new spillway at the nation's tallest dam.

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings throughout Northern California ahead of Friday's atmospheric river.

Officials in Santa Rosa are more concerned about how quickly the rain comes than how much. Fire department spokesman Paul Lowenthal says workers have been monitoring hundreds of storm drain inlets, especially the ones protecting the neighborhoods destroyed by the fires.

To the north, state water officials have been releasing water from Lake Oroville ahead of the storm.