SoCal driest since 1880s

LOS ANGELES, June 30 (UPI) -- This last year has marked the driest in Southern California since rainfall records started being kept in the 1880s.

Los Angeles marks its driest year at midnight Saturday with just 3.21 inches of rain between July 1 of 2006 and June 30 of this year. Pasadena, Riverside and other cities within the region also have seen record drought, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.


"We all love a new record," said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge. "But this one's on the hate list. And it's a long list."

Southern California firefighters are bracing for the run-up to July 4 as fireworks go on sale just as temperatures are predicted to soar above 100 degrees.

The scorching conditions have made hillsides more susceptible to sparks from fireworks, said Capt. Stephen Miller of the L.A. County Fire Department.

"It's almost like gasoline out there with all the dead fuel," Miller said of the dry conditions combined with already dead brush.



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