California Facing Dangerous Wildfire Season

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP)- Authorities have said that California is facing a dangerous wildfire season due to a dry winter that has left the normally green hills of spring parched and tinder-dry.

State fire crews have responded to more than 680 wildfires since the beginning of the year—about 200 more than average for the period. Local agencies have battled fires that briefly threatened hundreds of homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

The Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles plans to raise its fire danger level from moderate to high on Friday.

Authorities said much of California is well below normal for seasonal rainfall. Downtown Los Angeles has seen only 2 inches of rain since January instead of the usual 10 inches.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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