RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — While the worst of this year’s drought isn’t spreading, the areas of North Carolina affected by dry conditions keep spreading east.
The U.S. Drought Monitor map released this week shows abnormally dry conditions now extending as far east as Raleigh.
Officials now say more than half of the state is dry. Last week, about 40 percent of North Carolina was in some stage of drought or abnormally dry.
The worst conditions are in five far western counties that are in exceptional drought — the worst stage on the monitor.
Nearly a third of the state west of around Interstate 77 is at least in a moderate drought.
The dry weather has led to numerous wildfires in the North Carolina mountains.