BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum has declared a statewide drought disaster as extremely dry conditions continue to spread in North Dakota.
Drought conditions now encompass nearly three-fourths of the state, up from about half just a week ago.
Burgum’s order says the state is experiencing the worst drought since 2000.
The declaration activates a coordinated emergency operations plan involving several state agencies, including the North Dakota National Guard, that stand ready to assist local and tribal officials.
Meanwhile, wildfires including two large ones in the western Badlands have scorched nearly 53 square miles of land across the state this spring.