In this study, we investigate the importance of drought as a driver of wildfire activity over California using reanalysis data. Specifically, wildfire activity is assessed here by severity (95th percentile of Fire Weather Index; FWI95) and duration (the number of spread days) and evaluated against observed area burned. Several drought indices (e.g. Standardized Precipitation Index, SPI; Palmer Drought Severity Index, PDSI; Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index, SPEI) are used to understand the relationship between drought and wildfire. The ability of a regional climate model to reproduce the robustness of relationship between wildfire and drought is then investigated using an ensemble of long-term simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF).