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Governor Declares 8 Additional Counties In Drought Emergencies

 An ibis explores what habitat remains on the Klamath Basin’s wildlife refuges during a drought year that is exacerbating water resources challenges in this arid region.
Devan Schwartz
An ibis explores what habitat remains on the Klamath Basin’s wildlife refuges during a drought year that is exacerbating water resources challenges in this arid region.

Gov. Kate Brown declared drought emergencies in eight additional counties around Oregon Friday, bringing the total this year to 15.

She also released a public service announcement launching the hashtag #ORdrought.

“It may look green now, but we are going to experience one of the worst droughts in the history of our state," said Brown in a statement. "Snow pack is at historic lows and severe water shortages are nearly a certainty in many areas.”

Brown added that it’s likely to be a difficult fire season.

The new drought-effected counties are Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Morrow, Umatilla, and Wasco.

With these eight, Oregon has almost doubled the number of drought declarations made last year.

The drought means water shortages for farming and ranching operations, as well as low river and stream levels.

Recreational areas around Oregon are open for business this Memorial Day weekend, but long-term forecasts continue to call for temperatures well above normal.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.