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Experts: Summer Rains Put Dent In Southwest US Fire Danger

Drought warnings are issued across several counties in Utah.
Drought warnings are issued across several counties in Utah.

The threat of wildfire in the American Southwest has been significantly dampened by the monsoon season, but the region is still grappling with the long-term effects of drought.

Fire and climatology experts provided an update Wednesday on the situation across Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The region is currently home to the largest swath of severe and extreme drought in the U.S.

New Mexico's governor issued a drought declaration earlier this month, groundwater levels are dropping in Arizona, and the price of hay has doubled in southwest Colorado as fires persist elsewhere.

In Utah, several counties have drought declarations in place after having the warmest and least snowy winter since the 1800s.

Arizona's state climatologist, Nancy Selover, says most of the West is still way behind after missing out on winter and spring moisture.