(SALEM, Ore.) — Gov. Kate Brown announced on May 31 a drought emergency for Lake County due to low snowpack and precipitation, low streamflows, and warming temperatures as Oregon braces for the upcoming wildfire season.
|Above: Four eastern Oregon counties are now |
in official drought emergencies. Dry conditions
allow fire to spread more easily.
Forecasted water conditions are not expected to improve. The drought is likely to increase fire risk and have significant impacts on agriculture, livestock, natural resources, and the local economy. Lake County officials requested the state to take action on March 21, and the Oregon Drought Council considered the county's' requests by weighing current water conditions, future climatic forecasts, and agricultural impacts.
The Governor's drought declaration allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible. Oregon’s state agencies will continue to work with local governments and other partners to coordinate efforts and mobilize actions to address drought-related issues. The Governor’s drought declaration authorizes state agencies to expedite water management tools that users would not otherwise have access.