New drought website unveiled

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Farm Forum

PIERRE, S.D. – An updated Governor’s Drought Task Force website is now operational and is a resource for those looking for drought information.

The website, drought.sd.gov, went live on July 29.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard activated the Governor’s Drought Task Force earlier this month to monitor drought conditions across the state. Gov. Daugaard says the website will feature drought information.

“The website will include information such as the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, fire conditions, weather reports and agricultural information,” said the Governor. “We know many people are impacted by the dry conditions and we want to provide the best information we can.”

Other features on the website include a map comparing this year’s drought to the 2012 drought and a fire map showing the number of acres burned and the perimeter of the fires on state jurisdictional land.

While there has been recent rainfall in some areas, extremely dry conditions exist in other parts of the state. An emergency fire declaration earlier had been declared for 13 central and western South Dakota counties impacted by the drought conditions. Those counties are Butte, Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Hughes, Jackson, Jones, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Perkins and Stanley.

The Governor’s Drought Task Force consists of 12 state government agencies. Task Force members will coordinate the exchange of drought information among government agencies as well as agriculture, fire and water-supply organizations.

Next meeting for the Task Force is Aug. 15 in Pierre.