PORTLAND, Oregon — Drought emergencies have now been declared in more than half of Oregon's 36 counties.
Gov. Kate Brown on Friday confirmed emergencies in Coos, Douglas, Gilliam and Jefferson counties. That makes 19 counties officially in a state of drought.
Such declarations allow the state to prioritize use of water for human consumption and livestock, and enable residents hurt by drought to get federal aid. State agencies are using the hashtag #ORdrought across social media to keep people informed about drought-related developments.
With conditions so dry, Brown also warned that Oregon is likely to face a severe wildfire season. She says Oregonians must rise to the challenge that a changing climate brings.