Drought conditions are causing fire hazards and concerns about generating electricity from the flow of the Missouri River. The Western Area Power Administration says the power generated by six upstream dams is below average, causing the agency to purchase electricity rather than sell it. Those dams in Montana, North and South Dakota and Nebraska have provided electric to not only their own states but Minnesota and Iowa as well. That purchase of electricity – 18 million dollars worth, will cause a modest rate increase for individual rate payers in six states.
That draught is also causing concern for states in which wildfires start and are hard to get under control. Firefighters are currently battling several large fires in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas according to the National Inter-agency Fire Center. Nebraska is among the states with dry conditions and our area has been in fire alert status the past few days. Drought conditions exist over most of the state. What would happen if a wild fire would threaten eastern Nebraska, specifically Washington County? The Washington County Board of Supervisors in their meeting tomorrow afternoon will discuss a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and is considering designating Emergency Management Director Dan Douglas as the county’s representative in a steering committee. That meeting tomorrow starts at 3pm in the supervisor’s room at the Washington County Court House.