Governor declares drought emergency for Coos County, fourth declaration for Southern Oregon

SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown declared a drought emergency in Coos County Friday. This is the fourth such declaration in Southern Oregon.

The Governor has already declared the same in Klamath, Jackson, and Curry counties. The Governor’s office said it was due to low snowpack, lack of precipitation, low streamflows and warming temperatures. Fire season in Southwest Oregon began on May 1st, the earliest date on record in about ten years.

“As Oregon begins to slowly reopen our communities and economies, it is critical that every Oregonian do their part to mitigate and prevent wildfires,” said Governor Brown.  “It’s especially important we do our part to support our wildfire crews this year, as they face the prospect of mitigating threats on two fronts this season––stopping the fires that endanger our homes and communities, and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in their wildfire camps.”

The Governor’s office is projecting that drought conditions and unusually high temperatures will have a significant impact on agriculture, livestock, natural resources and local economies. The Governor has directed state agencies to work with local and federal partners to assist Klamath, Jackson, Coos and Curry counties.

The Governor’s declaration authorizes state agencies to expedite water management tools. The office said conditions will be closely monitored by the state’s natural resource and public safety agencies, including the Oregon Water Resources Department and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

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