With California still reeling from a deadly wildfire, residents in the state are increasingly worried about the threat posed by rising wildfire risk, as rising wildfires continue to sweep through the state.
As of Friday, the National Weather Service had issued 11 separate fires over the past 24 hours, the most in nearly a month, according to its website.
In addition to fires in the Sierra Nevada, the fire system is currently moving toward the central Sierra Nevada.
In a letter to local officials, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection warned that as the fire risk increases, the risk of homeshielding and damage to homes and structures increases.
While the state continues to focus on combating the fires, local authorities are already looking to mitigate the effects of drought on their communities, which could be especially acute for the city of Sacramento, which has been forced to suspend water use in some areas to mitigate high water levels.
“We’re looking to make sure that people are able to conserve water, conserve energy, conserve their water,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in an interview on ABC News.
“That’s the first thing we need to do.”
The city is also facing an increase in demand for water, Steinberg added.
The water-management district, which includes about a dozen California counties, has a backlog of more than 10 billion gallons of water needed for the state’s agriculture and livestock districts, according the California Water Board.
The shortage has been exacerbated by the drought, with the city having to increase water use by up to 100 percent for its agricultural operations.
“The water shortage in Sacramento is the highest it’s been in the last five years,” said Steve McQueen, a spokesman for the Sacramento Water District.
“This has led to a lot of people that are looking to water and we’re not doing enough of that.”
In San Francisco, water rates are up more than 60 percent from last year, and some of the city’s water customers are already feeling the effects.
According to the Water Board, water costs are now at a high point and water use has already doubled since October, when the drought began.
“Our rate increases are impacting some of our more vulnerable customers, who are in need of a lot more water,” McQueen said.
In Sacramento, McQueen says many residents have been forced out of their homes to conserve their resources.
He said some people have resorted to selling water-saving equipment and water filters at inflated prices, and that some have resorted directly to selling their food.
“People are really, really trying to conserve,” McQueensaid.
“I mean, we’re going to have to go to a whole other level with food storage and water storage, and people are getting really desperate.”
The drought has also led to increased water-use restrictions in some parts of the state, including California’s Central Valley, which is home to a large swath of agriculture, manufacturing and ranching.
While McQueen noted that some farmers and ranchers have had to turn to self-reliance in the face of the drought and its impacts, he said that is only part of the story.
“I mean that’s just part of it, but that’s also a reflection of the economic challenges that we face,” he said.
“There are still some farms in the Central Valley that are operating in extreme conditions that are really in need for water and they’re not getting it.”
In some areas, farmers have also begun to reduce the amount of irrigation they use to water their fields.
McQueen pointed to a recent report from the state Department of Water Resources that found that farmers in some Central Valley counties have reduced their irrigation water use more than 25 percent since last year.
But some experts have also warned that California’s drought is likely to continue for some time, with a new forecast of hotter, dry weather expected to hit in the coming weeks.
The drought is also threatening the viability of some California agricultural production, which relies on water to provide water to a growing number of residents, as well as many of the crops grown in California’s central valley.
The state’s water supply is also in a tight spot.
As the drought continues to spread, more people are relying on bottled water, which comes at a price.
The price for a bottle of water has increased in recent years as the drought has worsened, with consumers spending up to $3.50 a gallon on bottled tap water and other water-friendly products, according an Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
California’s water resources department said Friday that it is reviewing its policies regarding water conservation to ensure that consumers are not paying more for water.
In the meantime, many Californians are choosing to conserve, as they have for decades.
According the Food and Water Watch website, California has more than 9 billion gallons (15 billion liters) of water, enough for 1.7 million people.