North Dakota governor declares drought disaster
North Dakota governor declares drought disaster.
As areas of extreme drought expanded by about 5 percent in North Dakota this week, Gov.
Morton County followed with a drought disaster declaration this morning.
“These extreme drought conditions represent a serious economic hardship for our farmers, ranchers and the entire state, while also putting firefighters under considerable stress,” said Burgum, whose office indicated that more than 300 wildfires have been reported to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services since April 1.
“Our hope is that this disaster declaration is another step that may lead to some additional state or federal resources,” said Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz of the county’s own declaration.
Most of Morton and Burleigh counties are in extreme drought with the western edge of Morton County in exceptional drought, according to the Drought Monitor’s data.
Overall, 93 percent of North Dakota is at least abnormally dry with nearly 46 percent of the state in extreme drought.
“We have staff from my office, as well as the county extension and the county highway department, doing everything we can to respond to the ag-related impacts, as well as the increased demands on our area firefighters,” said Tom Doering, the emergency manager for Morton County.
Drier-than-normal conditions are expected to persist at least through the first week of August.
Rainfall to date this year in the Bismarck area measured 6.47 inches with .60 inch falling in the past week, according to data provided by the Weather Underground.