Los Angeles is going through its longest dry spell in at least 130 years, the National Weather Service said Sunday, fueling fears of rampant wildfires which have plagued the US west coast in recent years.

"The rain season is currently the driest to date in downtown Los Angeles since records began in 1877," the weather service said in a statement.

It said the southern California city had received just 2.47 inches (6.27 centimeters) of rain since July 1, 2006, far from the normal precipitation of 13.94 inches (35.4 centimeters) in the same period.

"If downtown Los Angeles receives less than 1.95 inches of rain from now through June 30th this will become the driest rain season ever," it said.

The record-holder is the 2001-2002 season which saw just 4.42 inches (11.22 centimeters) of rain.

Southern California is repeatedly the victim of wildfires, some of them of criminal origin like the arson-caused inferno that blazed Friday near the famed Hollywood sign in the hills overlooking Los Angeles, destroying some 150 acres (60 hectares) of brush.

The worst earth-scorching year on record in the United States was in 2006, when fires burned nearly 15.5 thousand square miles (39,957 square kilometers) -- an area close to the size of Switzerland.