Klamath County Commissioners declare drought

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KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — A spokesperson for Governor John Kitzhaber says the governor will formally declare a drought emergency after Klamath County Commissioners unanimously declared a drought on Tuesday.

The action is the first step toward allowing the county to access aid for farmers and ranchers in what is shaping up to be a historically low water year in Klamath County.

Kitzhaber spokesman Tim Raphael says the governor will declare a drought emergency as soon as he gets the formal request from county commissioners, and will explore other ways of helping farmers and ranchers.

He says irrigators, tribes and government agencies are committed to avoiding a repeat of 2001, when drought conditions led to a farmers-against-fish water war that made national headlines.