National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Smoke from fires have caused problems for tourists and outdoor activities; creeks and streams low in Stevens County, Washington
8/7/2018 12:00:00 AM

Tourism & Recreation
Water Supply & Quality
Stevens County, WA

Start Date: 8/6/2018 - End Date: 8/18/2018
Fire danger remains at High. Wildland fire smoke continues to remain at mostly moderate to heavy levels with corresponding unhealthy air quality; preventing tourist and recreationist visitation to the region. Dry lightening earlier this last week caused numerous new wildland fire starts, 11 in neighboring Ferry County alone. With no appreciable precipitation since June 23rd, soil moisture is absent to a depth of at least 6 inches, leaving vegetation parched and stressed. Small creeks and streams also have lower than average flows, warming to unhealthy temperatures for both swimming and for fish survival. Agricultural irrigation is non-stop with most crops approaching maturity, including 3rd cutting hay. CoCoRaHS Report from Station #Evans 2.0 NNW on 8/18/2018 From the observation of the lack of soil moisture to more than a depth of 6 inches; and the extremely low flows in small creeks and streams, and with wildland plant life showing signs of lack of water, I would say we have passed the abnormally dry stage and have entered a drought phase. Agriculture cropland irrigation has been in full implementation now for over a month and water levels in outlying ponds are showing considerable dropping. Irrigated hayland is looking great with an abundance of leaf growth. Dryland hay has now completely seeded and dried. Fire level remains high with multiple wildland fires in the surrounding regions keeping the sky's filled with smoke and haze even to the unhealthy stages. The fires and smoke have kept much of the normal tourism away. CoCoRaHS Report from Station #Evans 2.0 NNW on 8/11/2018 Surrounded by regional wildland fires, air remains entrenched with smoke, putting a huge damper on tourism and outdoor activities. Fire danger has been upgraded to HIGH. Creeks and small streams continue to have visibly reduced flows but are stable. Agricultural hay and crop harvesting continues as with irrigation. Wildlife sightings remain low. Soil moisture is dry and wildland plants are showing signs of stress. CoCoRaHS Report from Station #Evans 2.0 NNW on 8/6/2018