Before I moved out of the city, I hadn't really thought too m,uch about drought. Other than occasionally hearing about it on the news, it never really impacted me that much. But last year, my wife and I bought our first house out in the boonies. So now we have a septic tank and a well. The first time I heard the 'd-word' I got a bit spooked.

And of course, I still only thought about how drought affected me. I was worried about the well running dry and all the fun that could go along with that, so we went into fairly deep water conservation mode for the rest of the summer, and frankly still are. But I've begun to see how it's affecting the rest of the state too.

I was reading in the BDN this weekend, that Maine is experiencing it's own record year of wildfires. We've all been reading about the devastation that's taking place on the west coast, and maybe not thinking about our own backyards as much. But firefighters around the state have had to extinguish over 900 wildfires since spring.

Normally, they get a break in June, which is historically been kind of a wet month. Officials refer to this as the 'green-up' period, which is a small period of low activity between fire seasons. But this year, spring and summer were so dry, they never got that break, and have been battling blazes all summer long.

And the drought has caused it so they can't access water as easily in some spots. Water levels are so low, that where they could normally get water from a boat launch or over the side of a bridge, that they often can't reach a decent water source. Obviously, it's pretty hard to battle a fire with no water.

Hopefully, Mother Nature has some plans for us we don't know about, because right now we're speeding quickly towards a thousand wildfires for the year. These are out of control brush fires, or improperly extinguished campfires. So if you are burning stuff right now, please check daily fire conditions, and be properly permitted.

I think we all love our state and want the best for it. Not to say folks out west don't, but we're just a tiny little woodsy paradise. Common sense, and a respect for nature will hopefully take care of us. But let's make sure we do our part to help take care of our great state of Maine.

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