from the Guardian
The Golden State has suffered four parched years, but the land could be too dry to absorb heavy rains anticipated this winterVast swathes of forest are so brittle and bone-dry that they burn up in an instant. A vicious wildfire, whipped up by hot, arid winds and moving faster than anything in recent memory, consumed tens of thousands of hectares in a matter of hours. Hundreds of homes and at least one person were lost in an inferno that took days to get under control. That’s in California’s north…[In the south] …Rather than relief, the water brought chaos. Thousands lost power and hundreds of cars crashed on flooded roads, according to the Los Angeles Times. Almost one million litres of stormwater surged from San Gabriel sewers, contaminating the river and beaches dozens of kilometres downstream. At least one home plunged down a hillside as the earth beneath it was suddenly washed away. Ten people had to be plucked from rushing, rain-swollen rivers by rescue crews.