- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - State officials say 13 Montana counties are now under drought alerts.

Department of Natural Resources and Conservation officials said in a statement Tuesday that nine counties across southern Montana and in the northwestern part of the state were added to the list this month.

Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney says the region has had two years of low snowpack and early runoff, and the rain earlier this month did not significantly raise precipitation totals compared to average years.

The counties that reached drought alert status this month are Carter, Carbon, Yellowstone, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Powell, Ravalli, Missoula and Sanders.

Glacier, Pondera, Teton and northern Lewis and Clark counties were under drought alerts in June.

The status does not prompt state or federal assistance.

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