California declares a drought

Smoke from a wildfire behind the Los Angeles skyline, 16 Jan 2014 (LA Times)

Smoke from a wildfire behind the Los Angeles skyline, 16 Jan 2014 (LA Times)

The state of California formally declared drought conditions this week in an effort to receive federal aid.

Hundreds of wildfires have been reported this winter – normally the wettest time of year – as bone-dry conditions persist.

Thousands of residents were allowed to return home this weekend after firefighters contained a wildfire in the suburbs northeast of Los Angeles which destroyed at least five homes.

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