Gov. Rick Perry has renewed a proclamation declaring Texas a disaster due to the drought.
Perry renewed the proclamation on Dec. 27, a year after he initially declared the drought a disaster. The proclamation allows municipalities to apply for state assistance in dealing with the drought’s impacts, including fighting and recovering from wildfires.
Perry’s proclamation says all counties in the state are plagued by extreme drought conditions and are vulnerable to wildfires.
Additionally, the Texas Farm Bureau said its members have granted more than $1.4 million to help Texas volunteer fire departments in the wildfire fight.
The National Weather Service says 2011 was Texas’ driest year on record as well as its second hottest.
The agency said the average rainfall for the drought-stricken state last year was 14.88 inches. The previous driest average total was in 1917 with 14.99 inches.
The weather service says 2011′s average temperature was 67.2 degrees. Texas’ warmest year on record was in 1921 with an average temperature of 67.5 degrees.
Last year Texas suffered its worst single-year drought, its largest agricultural losses and the hottest summer in U.S. history. From June through August, Texas averaged 86.8 degrees, beating out Oklahoma’s 85.2 degrees in 1934.
The current drought started in fall 2010. Forecasters say it is expected to drag on at least through June.
The ongoing drought has led to some of the worst wildfires ever seen in Texas, destroying hundreds of homes and scorching thousands of acres.