Rain is helping efforts to put out a nearly 2,000-acre wildfire that's been burning for more than a week in northwest Alabama.

The U.S. Forest Service says crews were monitoring a fire line in the Sipsey Wilderness today. Officials hope continuing rainfall will extinguish the blaze.

More than 1.5 inches of rain is forecast in an area where the Big Tree wildfire has burned about 1,938 acres since it was first reported on Oct. 16.

Forecasters say heavy rainfall and some localized flooding are expected near the Alabama coast.

The National Weather Service says there is a high chance of rainfall starting Sunday afternoon and more through Tuesday. Officials say there is a high increase of rip currents near beaches.

Meteorologist Cody Lindsey says one of the coastal parts likely to be affected the most is Baldwin County. He says there is an 80 percent chance of rain with localized flooding of 2-4 inches near the coast.

More rain headed toward Alabama

Jul 12, 2012
The Drought Monitor / National Drought Mitigation Center

Forecasters say more storms are headed toward Alabama, but still more rain is needed to break a worsening drought.

The National Weather Service says there's a good chance of precipitation statewide on Thursday. The Tennessee Valley counties in north Alabama could get 1 or 2 inches of rain with gusty winds, and high temperatures will top out around 80 degrees.

There's an 80 percent chance of rain in central Alabama, and a 60 percent chance on the coast.