In Butler County, rainfall is between six and nine inches below average for this time of year.By Royce Jones

SARVER, Pa. (KDKA) – Counties in the central and western parts of the state are in need of rain. In fact, the Department of Environmental Protection has put some of those areas under a drought watch.

KDKA spoke with Steve Bicehouse, Butler County’s emergency management director, who said the drought has lasted for a few months.

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Miles of fields are dead and dried up. Bicehouse said rainfall is between six and nine inches below average for this time of year.

This summer, rainfall in Butler County has been short and sporadic. A shower this afternoon lasted just 10 to 15 minutes, barely enough to end the drought.

“A good soaking rain is what we’d like to see,” said Bicehouse.

Burn bans are in effect in Butler County at the discretion of each township.

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There have been a series of brush fires reported in the county, and burning only adds to the threat — especially on windy days where experts say a small spark can fly up to 100 yards away and potentially cause a disaster.

“Your local fire department can not bail you out because it’s not going to stay contained,” said Bicehouse.

It’s also recommended county residents conserve water during the drought and prevent strain on supply, particularly those who are in rural areas and use water wells.

The state DEP said Armstrong, Butler, Fayette and Indiana counties are currently under a drought watch.

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Before you even think about burning, emergency management said call your municipality and make sure there is no ban. Burning during a ban could result in a fine.