A cool damp weather system making its way across Southern California brought firefighters a timely respite just as the Springs Fire in Ventura County was expected to reach full containment Monday.

The fire, which started along the Ventura Freeway, 50 miles north of Los Angeles, went on to burn through coastal mountains, blackening 28,000 acres and threatening 4,000 homes.

The off-and-on showers are expected to continue through Tuesday afternoon, bringing about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of rain to the region, according to National Weather Service forecaster Mike Watkins.

Along with periods of showers, there's a slight chance of thunderstorms.

A warming trend and fewer clouds are expected later in the week as high pressure builds into the region.

"We're getting a late-season system and it's good we're getting this," Watkins said. "It's been pretty dry this season - so far we're roughly 30 percent below normal rainfall. "

Bill Peters, Cal Fire San Bernardino unit spokesman, said the immediate rain is good to cool temperatures and get the ground and vegetation wet.

"But the downside is although the vegetation is wet, the plants are beyond drawing moisture into their stems at this point," Peters said.

There has been so little rain that the plants are where they would be in July or August.

"The rain is a plus right now - at least it's a break from the severe weather we saw last week," Peters said, adding that the Santa Ana winds we've seen in May were really unusual.

The rain has left vegetation with a damp coating and there's been nothing to dry it out as long as the winds don't blow, according to Watkins.

The system is expected to hang around until Wednesday, when it moves east along the Southern plains, forecasters said.

The system may even bring a "teensy" bit of snow above 7,000 feet, Watkins said.

Peters suggested that this might be a good time to whack weeds and clear defensible space around your home.