Recent rainfall has brought a welcome respite to parched North Carolina, but it is far from enough to end the ongoing drought that has gripped most of the state. While nearly 2 inches of rain fell before Thanksgiving, it is still significantly below the 7 inches of rain needed over 30 days to alleviate the drought.
The situation is particularly dire in the mountains, where anywhere from 8.5 to 11 inches of rain over a 30-day period is required to break the drought.
Brad Panovich, a meteorologist from WCNC-TV, cautioned that the recent rain showers offer only a temporary reprieve. “We’re not going to get anything remotely close to what we need,” he said.
Drought conditions have exacerbated the risk of wildfires, and firefighters continue to battle blazes in several North Carolina counties. The Collett Ridge fire in Cherokee County has burned over 5,500 acres, while the Black Bear fire in Haywood County has consumed approximately 1,900 acres.
Kevin Harvell, a representative of the North Carolina Forest Service, emphasized the importance of individual responsibility in preventing wildfires. “Most are accidental,” he explained, often caused by careless actions such as improperly extinguished campfires or discarding lit cigarettes.
Outside burning remains prohibited across much of the region, and Governor Roy Cooper has expanded the state of emergency declaration to include 16 additional counties of Anson, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Rockingham, Scotland, Stanly, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin..
While the recent rain has provided a temporary respite, the drought in North Carolina is far from over. Residents are urged to remain vigilant and take precautions to prevent wildfires.