Fire season already? 85% of CA is in severe, extreme, or exceptional drought, latest numbers show

Compared to this time last year, only 12% of the state was at these drought levels.
SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- The rain system that came through California this past weekend has moved through -- and didn't leave much on the ground.

Experts say a majority of California is dealing with drought conditions, and they continue to worsen.

RELATED: Storm system brings snow to High Sierra, doesn't make dent in rain deficit

If you blinked on Sunday, it's very possible you missed the rain, drizzle, or whatever you'd like to call it.

"The reality is that we ended up with quite a bit less, so we're faced with what we anticipate as potentially a long dry summer," says Assistant Santa Rosa Fire Marshall Paul Lowenthal.

Lowenthal says their agency is likely to officially declare an early start to fire season in a matter of weeks.

VIDEO: Newsom declares drought emergency in 2 California counties
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Gov. Gavin Newsom declared an emergency executive order Wednesday in two Northern California counties in response to drought conditions affecting much of the state and the West Coast.



Those who crunch the numbers say the outlook is not a good one.

"I just looked at the numbers and 85 percent of California is in severe, extreme, or exceptional drought. Compare that to last year only 12 percent of the state was at that same level," says Nick VinZant of QuoteWizard.com.

Numbers like that haven't been seen since 2015, according to VinZant. A recent QuoteWizard.com study of states with the highest wildfire risk, found California as 4th dangerous.

RELATED: Drought conditions already impacting Valley farmers

Drought conditions are already forcing Valley farmers to make difficult decisions when it comes to their crops as many are facing severe water restrictions.

"There's districts throughout California that have experienced up to 95% reductions in water," says Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen.

Water conservation officials agree that we are using much less water now than we were before previous droughts and firefighters and homeowners nowadays, much better prepared for wildfires.

Jacobsen says the lack of wet weather means the water farmers do have will have to be reallocated to permanent crops, while others, like garlic, tomatoes, onions, melons, and rice will be reduced.

RELATED: California Dreaming: Farmers, scientists sustainably getting by with less water

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