California abnormally dry after low-precipitation winter

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A dry beginning to the year has left most of California abnormally dry and officials are bracing for the possibility of an early and more intense wildfire season amid record-breaking temperatures.

A map released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor shows drought has expanded to nearly a quarter of the state, mainly in central California. The map shows 70% of the state is abnormally dry. February is shaping up to be the driest on record for much of the state. Downtown San Francisco is on its way to its first rain-free February since 1864.

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