California Drought
Cracks in the dry bed of the Stevens Creek Reservoir in Cupertino, Calif., on March 13, 2014. Marcio Jose Sanchez—AP

Entire State of California Facing Worst Drought Since Tracking Began

May 15, 2014

The entire state of California is facing a "severe" drought or worse for the first time since tracking began in 2000, according to the federal U.S. Drought Monitor.

The level of drought in the state, where wildfires in the south have burned down at least 30 homes, is “unprecedented” over the past decade and a half, climatologist Mark Svoboda, from the National Drought Mitigation Center, which runs the monitor based out of Nebraska, told USA Today.

Nearly a quarter of the state is facing an “exceptional” drought, the worst possible categorization, including the entire Bay Area. Another half of the state, including Los Angeles and San Diego, is in the midst of an “extreme” drought, while the remainder of the state is in the midst of a “severe” drought, the third most dire category.

[USA Today]

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.