California Declares State of Emergency

Extreme drought is fueling the intense wildfire that has forced thousands to evacuate.
3:00 | 01/18/14

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Transcript for California Declares State of Emergency
where finally progress is being made against the destructive wildfire that's forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes outside los angeles. An epic drought, the worst in a century is fueling the blaze and forcing the governor to declare an emergency for the state. Abc's david wright has the latest from the fire zone. Reporter: This unusual midwinter wildfire has meant devastating loss for some. This man's home was spared but his shed and his neighbor's house are gone. The important thing is my wife and two girls are safe. Reporter: California officials are now dreading what may be an endless summer of fire season. I'm declaring an emergency in the state of california. Reporter: Governor brown confirmed the most populous tate in the nation is in crisis. We're facing perhaps the worst drought that california has ever seen. Reporter: The drought has a direct connection to the wildfires we've been seeing because these hills are bone dry. Two-thirds of the state is prone to burn. The three men accused of starting this blaze now face federal charges and up to five years in prison. Authorities say they started a campfire to keep warm. Even though there were red flag warnings. They weren't trying to burn anything down. This was not intentional in any way. Reporter: State officials are powerless to bring on the rain that so desperately is needed but hope scitizens will be more responsible. Hopefully it'll rain eventually but in the meantime, we have to do our part. Reporter: If voluntary conservation doesn't work mandatory measures may follow. A looming crisis of which this fire is only a symptom. For "good morning america," david wright, abc news, azusa, california.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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