SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A. US. agency says more of California is rapidly plunging back into drought, with severe conditions now existing in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties – home to one-fourth of the state’s population. The weekly report released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor also shows 44 percent of the state is now considered to be in a moderate drought. It’s a dramatic jump from just last week, when the figure was 13 percent. A drought state of emergency was lifter in California less than a year ago. A rainy winter snapped a deep five-year drought that forced water conservation.