July 11, 2017

High and dry: Drought, heat plague McKenzie County

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

Temperatures in the 90s amid an ongoing drought have made McKenzie County a veritable tinderbox, affecting everyone from farmers and ranchers to first responders and Independence Day revelers.
At their July 5 meeting, McKenzie County commissioners authorized emergency manager Karolin Jappe to determine the daily fire index rating, as necessary, after fire officials here have disagreed with the state department of emergency services’ recent rating of moderate for McKenzie County on its fire danger map.
Last Thursday, the county’s rating moved up to high after Jappe conferred with local fire districts and chiefs.
“So today, even though (the NDDES map) says moderate, we decided it’s a high fire index day because of so many more things,” she said, “and it’s typically mostly because of all the drought.”
Watford City has received no significant rainfall since June 17, when 0.88 inches fell, NDAWN reported. Just over 2.3 inches of rainfall have been measured here since June 1, according to NDAWN figures.

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