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Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted today to extend the local state of emergency declaration due to the lingering drought.

County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Tracie Riggs said, “As we know the drought has not gotten any better and it continues to intensify. I was notified by the state that our county is number two in the state for the level of impact from the drought, and most of that is because of our wells within Tuolumne County.”

Only Tulare County has had more wells go dry or become contaminated. Notably, ATCAA has been partnering with Tuolumne County to help supply emergency water for residents that have impacted wells.

Supervisor Randy Hanvelt pointed out that a lack of water supply is only part of the list of concerns resulting from the drought. “I drive up and down the bypass and every day I see one or more new dead or dying trees that I didn’t notice the day before.”

Hanvelt cited a report that was released in May that estimated that there are 14-million dead trees in California dying from the drought and overgrowth of the forest. Hanvelt predicted the number could increase by ten times over the course of the summer. He added, “The drought condition is becoming a public safety issue from a fire hazard point of view. It’s just not consumptive use of water.”

The Board voted 5-0 to continue the local State of Emergency.

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