California Emergency: Fires And Drought


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With the drought getting worse, California has some serious water problems, but add fires and it can be considered a state of emergency.

California's Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in California on Friday. Rivers, reservoirs and lakes are the driest on record in years, and he's asked the residents to cut water usage by 20 percent. Mandatory conservation measures are not ruled out for the future if things do not get better.

"This takes a coming together of all the people of California to deal with this serious and prolonged event of nature," the governor told reporters in San Francisco. "Hopefully it'll rain eventually. But in the meantime, we have to do our part."

This emergency call for help is a way for the state to gain help from the federal government, giving the state more flexibility to manage the flow of water from one place to the next. The Gov. included state agencies in that water usage cut as well.

The governor called it "perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago."

January and February are typically the wettest months of the year for parts of California, but this January has been mostly dry.

These dry conditions and lack of precipitation is sparking wildfires due to the tinderbox condition of the brush and trees. Just outside of Los Angeles is a wildfire that began its wrath on Thursday, destroying five homes and is raging in the Angeles National Forest.

It isn't just California that is dealing with this major lack of water, also on the dreaded drought list are 11 other states considered disaster areas, due in part to the economic strain that the lack of rain is putting on farmers. Those states are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Image via Wikimedia Commons