California's drought is intensifying, turning more farms to dust, fanning fires, draining fountains and driving â€śunbelievableâ€ť prices at water auctions.
A map released by the US Drought Monitor on Thursday classified nearly 80% of California as in â€śextremeâ€ť drought, the second highest of five categories. Within that area an estimated 36% is â€śexceptionalâ€ť drought, the highest category.
After another week of â€ślittle if any precipitationâ€ť exceptional dryness spread south to afflict Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to the monitor report.
The entire state has been deemed in â€śsevereâ€ť drought since April, the first time this has happened in 15 years.
More than 1,000 firefighters continued on Friday to battle a 4,300 acre wildfire in Napa county. Vineyards and homes have so far largely escaped but about 500 people have been evacuated.