• Reuters

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California was declared totally drought-free for the first time in more than seven years on Thursday, following unusually abundant winter rains and snowfall statewide, according to the government’s weekly report on U.S. drought conditions.

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest survey reflected an astonishing turnaround — at least for now — from a severe, prolonged dry spell that reduced irrigation supplies to farmers, forced strict household conservation measures and stoked a spate of deadly, devastating wildfires.

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