Harsh, dry conditions continue to drive more of California into the highest possible category of drought, the
Nearly 80% of the state was under "extreme"
Exceptionally dry conditions already affect pockets of Northern California, all of Central California and coastal communities, but have now extended to Ventura and Los Angeles counties, and much of Orange County, experts say.
In April, the entire state was considered to be in severe drought for the first time in 15 years.
A large portion of Northern California is extremely dry, creating conditions unfamiliar to firefighters who are struggling to battle a 4,300-acre blaze in Napa County.
About 21% of California's southeast counties are facing severe drought conditions.
Experts expect above-normal temperatures will continue to hamper already thirsty Central California regions through July and August.
Although widespread rainfall is expected to drench the East Coast, California will be spared and could stay dry for some time, forecasters warned.
The ongoing drought has prompted extreme water-saving measures in communities across the state.
Other water users have taken visible steps to curtail water use, such as the
Fruit and vegetable prices were also expected to increase by 6%, as the drought impacts crops in the Central Valley.