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N.C. drought conditions worsen, state under burning ban

The state's water woes are going to get worse before they get better. That's the word from North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley Monday. Easley addressed the North Carolina League of Municipalities Monday afternoon in Fayetteville and is calling for further cutbacks in water use. The governor says all outdoor watering should immediately cease. "North Carolina is facing a potential emergency just as severe as any eye storm or hurricanes that we usually face," Easley said. "This is an emergency where we can lessen the impact of but only, only if we take the action necessary today and work together -- you and me and all of our citizens in the state." The governor is not yet declaring a state of emergency yet - but he worries the drought may lead to a full-blown water crisis in 2008. State under burning ban The lack of rain has also triggered a new statewide burning ban. The extreme drought has left brush tinder dry. One errant spark or smoldering ember could create a disaster. Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner says the drought makes fighting the fires trickier too. "Anytime we get a fire we have to be careful about the communities around it, and knowing that some of the water supplies of some of the places that we would pull it from, ponds and lakes maybe down, that could be a significant source of hazard that we may not be able to put the fire out," Garner said. Again, the new burn ban covers the entire state.

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