Madera County supervisors on Tuesday declared a local emergency because of the statewide drought.
In adopting a drought resolution, the supervisors said local resources aren't enough to address the emergency. The action gives Madera County a better chance to obtain state or federal funds to address the drought if they become available.
The resolution says "extremely dry conditions" have persisted since 2012 and earlier this month, along with Gov. Jerry Brown's statewide drought declaration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 27 of 58 California counties -- including Madera County -- as primary natural disaster areas.
Madera County is in a state of emergency because it relies heavily on agriculture, and drought makes the economy vulnerable, the resolution says. Additionally, reduced snowpack and water flow threaten things like drinking water supplies, plants and animals, and increase the risk of wildfire.
Sheriff John Anderson, also the county's director of emergency services, is in charge of assessing local damage and consulting with federal and state survey teams. Anderson and Auditor-Controller Marcia Hall are the county representatives who will work on obtaining available assistance. The emergency resolution will be sent to the governor and his Office of Emergency Services.