Fire Threat Increases for California as Winds Increase

By Samantha-Rae Tuthill, Staff Writer
January 24, 2014; 2:22 PM ET
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Gusty winds in the Los Angeles area to end the week will bring fire dangers to the forefront once again.

Days ahead of relentless sunshine are slated to continue for Southern California, where the dire state of the drought is heavily impacting farmers and the public at large.

Compacting agricultural problems for the state has been the spreading of a citrus disease known as Huanglongbing, according to the California Citrus Mutual. Congress as allotted $20 million in funding to help combat the disease in conjunction with USDA efforts.

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On Jan. 17, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency because of the drought. Though water supplies for the state's residents are said to remain at a safe level for the near future, if the drought persists for too long water tables could be in danger. Governor Brown is asking residents to cut back on their water usage by 20 percent to help conservation efforts in the emergency.

Last year was the driest year on record for the state, and this time of the year, typically considered the wet season, has remained remarkably dry as well. The immediate forecast does not call for any relief to that problem.

Gusty winds to end the week will also exacerbate the threat for wildfires on the heels of the Soda and Colby fires that have burned more than 2,000 combines acres in less than two weeks.


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