"Hundreds of firefighters were battling a rapidly-spreading wildfire raging unchecked in drought-stricken Southern California on Wednesday after flames forced more than 80,000 residents to flee."
"A pollutant that has leached into California aquifers since farmers first began using synthetic fertilizer continues to accumulate and would not be removed from groundwater even if the state’s agriculture businesses abruptly quit using nitrogen-based materials to boost the productivity of their crops."
"California is burning. The state has nine active wildfires as large as 25 acres or more, including the massive Clayton fire north of San Francisco that forced nearly 1,500 residents to flee their homes after it erupted Saturday in dry conditions created by the state’s extreme drought. On Sunday the blaze doubled in size."
"A wildfire destroyed at least 10 homes and forced some 4,000 people to flee their homes as flames jumped a road and moved into a Northern California town located miles away from a devastating wildfire nearly a year ago."
"Significant progress was made against a forest fire threatening homes in California's San Bernardino Mountains, while up the coast firefighters sought to prevent a 107-square-mile blaze near Big Sur from encroaching on Highway 1, authorities said Wednesday."
"A wildfire burning out of control in mountains and foothills east of Los Angeles mushroomed more than 50 percent overnight, forcing authorities to order three school districts to cancel classes due to heavy smoke and dangerous conditions."
"Nearly six years after a defective natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes, a federal court jury convicted Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Tuesday of obstructing the federal probe of the blast and of violating pipeline safety laws both before and after the disaster."
"A Southern California wildfire has surged in size and put thousands of homes in potential peril. Smoke plumes roiling from flaming ridges of the San Bernardino Mountains blew all the way across the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas as the blaze on Monday forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes."
"MENDOTA, Calif. — Driving down Highway 33 through California's Central Valley, signs of the state's ongoing drought — and water wars — are everywhere. Fields of green winter wheat and diagonal rows of almond trees alternate with brown fields. Billboards every few miles read, 'No water = No jobs.'"
"Joshua trees are weird. They've got shaggy bark, twisted branches and needle-like leaves."