Gov. Walker expands drought emergency to entire state - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Gov. Walker expands drought emergency to entire state

MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in all 72 counties in Wisconsin due to the drought.

It's an expansion of a drought emergency Walker declared last week in 42 counties.

"Wisconsin families, businesses and farmers are hurting as a result of this drought," said Gov. Walker.  "The increase in wildfires due to the combined lack of rain and high temperatures is adding to the risk of major economic losses, especially in agriculture.  This is a time of crisis for many people, and we will utilize whatever resources are necessary to help."

The order directs Wisconsin Emergency Management to coordinate state efforts in response to the drought and directs all state agencies to assist in the response and recovery. The declaration also waives fees and expedites the permitting process to allow farmers to use water from certain streams and lakes to irrigate their fields.

Gov. Walker is also urging people to use caution and comply with burn restrictions as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has responded to more than 300 wildfires since June 1. More than fifty Wisconsin counties are currently facing fire dangers ranging from moderate to very high. Click here for more information on fire dangers.

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