As Colby Fire Burns, Red Flag Warnings Still in Effect

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency Friday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Friday, citing a need for conservation efforts and a fingers-crossed message that he "hopes it will rain" soon during what looks like it will be the driest year on record in the history of California. This is “perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago,” Brown said at a news conference on Friday. Christie Smith Reports (Published Friday, Jan 17, 2014)

    High fire danger continued Friday as a Red Flag warning remained in effect until 6 p.m. for the valleys and coastal areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

    Winds are expected to gust up to 30 mph through the early afternoon and relative humidity is expected to be low – about 3 to 8 percent – creating critical conditions in the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and Ventura County valleys, according to the National Weather Service.

    Running Dry: CA Drought Maps | Water Resources

    The combination of winds, relative humidity, temperatures reaching into the 80s and no rain in the forecast are cause for concern regarding fire danger.

    "Worst Drought Calif. Has Ever Seen," Gov. Jerry Brown

    [BAY] "Worst Drought Calif. Has Ever Seen," Gov. Jerry Brown
    California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Friday, saying this is “perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago.” See a raw video of his Jan. 17, 2013, press conference in San Francisco. (Published Friday, Jan 17, 2014)

    More than 1,000 firefighters were dispatched Thursday morning to battle a fire in the Angeles National Forest. The Colby Fire scorched 1,709 acres and destroyed five homes in its path, according to the LA County Fire Department. Seventeen other buildings were destroyed.

    Photo: Colby Fire Rages in Foothills of Glendora

    About 1,000 were evacuated and multiple schools were closed due to the fire. Residents evacuated from their Glendora homes were allowed to return as of 7 p.m. Thursday.

    The fire broke out during one of the driest California winters ever recorded, and at a time when Southern California is on track to experience the driest January on record.

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    However, SoCal isn’t the only part of the state experiencing dry weather conditions.

    Gov. Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency on Friday.

    Los Angeles received 1.04 inches of rainfall between July 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013 – about 26 percent the average amount of precipitation, according to the Department of Water Resources California Data Exchange Center.

    During the same time period in 2012, LA received 4.28 inches of rain – or 107 percent the average amount of precipitation.