State declares Level 2 drought conditions

The state has de4clared a “Level 2 —Significant Drought” in the Connecticut River Valley as well as Western, Central and Northeast portions of the state.

Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said a Level 2 drought means conditions are significantly dry due to lack of rainfall and high temperatures.

“While the dry conditions continue and as we enter the summer months, we ask residents and businesses to aggressively conserve water and take increased care with any outdoor burning,” she said.

Along with water restrictions, the lack of rainfall has increased the threat of wildland and brush fires.  The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is calling of residents to take care in using outdoor appliances such as charcoal grills, using matches and other open flames and to quickly call 911 if there is an outdoor fire to prevent spreading.

The state and federal Drought Management Rask Force suggests that communities adopt the state’s nonessential water use regulations for drought, limit or prohibit the installation of new sod or landscaping, vehicle washing and filling pools and hot tubs.   

A quick decline in the state’s rainfall since May and high ambient temperatures has led to the drought conditions leaving the area between 1 ½ to 3 inches below normal for the months of ay and June. The state’s groundwater and streamflow show low levels as well.

The threat of wildland fires has increased across interior portions of the state over the past 30 days.  With over 110 wildfires over the last 30 days, fires are burning deeper into the ground fuels, making it challenging for firefighters to cope.

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