Gov. Doug Burgum issued an executive order declaring a draft emergency for 15 North Dakota counties.

The drought that has gripped North Dakota throughout the summer has been most severe in the western part of the state, but the Lake Region has also been affected.

According to Adnan Akyuz, professor of climatological practice at North Dakota State University and North Dakota’s state climatologist, the state is struggling against its worst drought since 2006.

“This is the first time since Aug. 15, 2006 the state experienced the ‘exceptional drought’ status,” Akyuz said in an NDSU news release.

Ramsey County is in the “abnormally dry” range, according to the United States Drought Monitor operated by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The dry conditions appear to be somewhat worse south and southwest of the Lake Region, as Minnewaukan, Sheyenne and other communities are in the “moderate drought” range.

Gov. Doug Burgum issued an executive order declaring a draft emergency for 15 North Dakota counties.

In the executive order, Burgum stated that “these conditions have had an adverse impact on livestock pasture conditions and water supplies, crop emergence and production, and agribusiness in general.”

Should the county approve the drought emergency declaration, it may make available aid for the region’s farmers, ranchers and local businesses.