BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum this week requested a presidential major disaster declaration based on the "severe drought conditions" that continue to plague farmers, ranchers and other residents across much of North Dakota.

The request, being sent to President Donald Trump through Nancy Dragani, acting regional administrator for FEMA, seeks to activate the Individual Assistance program and make Direct Federal Assistance available.

The governor also is asking for additional staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies to provide program expertise for those impacted by drought. A copy of the request can be viewed here.

“This request is based upon a severe drought that has adversely impacted state agribusinesses and producers, residents and the overall economy,” the governor stated in a press release. “During the spring and summer, continuous dry conditions over extended periods of record-breaking heat, well below average precipitation and wind have fueled frequent wildland fires, endangering the health and safety of our residents and the livelihood of our producers.”

The governor says nearly 94 percent of the state is in some level of drought, directly affecting more than 425,000 residents. About 8 percent of the state is in "exceptional" drought.

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