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8/31/2007

Utah is declared a disaster area for wildfires, drought

UTAH - 24 counties have been designated as primary natural disaster areas. To receive a primary disaster declaration, a county must have incurred a production loss of at least 30 percent. The state's remaining five counties have been declared contiguous disaster areas. Contiguous areas must be surrounded by impacted counties. In addition to record wildfires and severe drought, the 24 counties have suffered from insect infestations, killing frosts, hot dry winds and flash flooding. Most ranchers said in a recent survey that they expected little help after record wildfires that have blackened more than 700,000 acres. They reported destroyed water systems, fences and outbuildings, and problems with finding money to buy hay for thousands of displaced cattle.

DROUGHT PROBLEMS ACROSS THE U.S. SOUTHEAST

TENNESSEE - While most of the South is in a period of prolonged drought, that drought has hit "extreme" levels in middle and western Tennessee, destroying crops and closing farmer's markets.

KENTUCKY - The current drought has taken a toll on Kentucky's projected crop yields.

OHIO - "This is absolutely the worst drought I've ever seen." All kinds of crops,including corn and beans, are suffering.

FLORIDA - Drought has caused $100 million in crop damage and economic losses to Florida and the figure could rise tenfold.


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