Slight improvement in North Dakota drought conditions
BISMARCK (AP) — A tiny section of North Dakota has been dropped from all drought categories, marking the first time since the beginning of the year that the entire state wasn’t in some stage of drought.
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows the southeastern tip of Richland County is not considered to be in any of the five stages of drought. That’s an area equal to 0.2% of the state.
The monitor puts nearly 59% of the state in extreme drought, which is down from 65% last week. About 3.8% is in exceptional drought, down from 5.6% last week.
A year ago, about 38% of the state was unaffected by drought and no part was in the extreme or exceptional ranges, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The improvement comes as storms dropped 1 inch (25 millimeters) to 4 inches (101 millimeters) of rain in the Dakotas and Nebraska last week.
Burn bans and restrictions are in effect in all but seven North Dakota counties. The North Dakota Response website shows eight counties in the southwest part of the state are in the very high fire danger category.
Most of the rest of the state is in the high or moderate range, with five counties in the southeast in the low range. None of the state is in the highest category of extreme fire danger.