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SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2007

Drought warnings for 37 counties

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Gov. Bob Riley announced drought warnings for 37 counties Friday after the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Office of Water Resources declared severe drought conditions for parts of the state.

OWR activated the Alabama Drought Management Plan based on the current and anticipated hydrologic conditions that show dangerously low water levels for the northern portions of the state. The following counties are under a drought warning:

Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa and Walker.

Public and private water systems are advised to carefully monitor conditions and prepare emergency procedures in case the situation worsens. Forest service officials issued an order Tuesday restricting the use of fire in Alabama's four national forests until July 31 because of dry conditions. The order restricts campfire, open fire and prohibits fireworks in national forest lands that are part of the following 17 counties:

Bibb, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Cleburne, Covington, Dallas, Escambia, Franklin, Hale, Lawrence, Macon, Perry, Talladega, Tuscaloosa and Winston.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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