The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts officials are urging residents to conserve water as drought conditions impact much of the state.

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs said Friday that significant drought has been declared in the southeast region of Massachusetts, which includes Norfolk, Plymouth and Bristol counties.

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A mild drought has been declared in the rest of the state, except for the islands.

Officials say precipitation totals are 1.5 inches to 3 inches (3.8 centimeters to 7.5 centimeters) below normal.

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“It is important that we all take water conservation steps now to lessen its potential impacts on our environment and water supplies, and to take extra precautions when using an open flame or cooking on a grill to prevent wildfires,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said in an emailed statement.

Officials are encouraging residents to reduce their water use indoors and outdoors and be especially careful when using things charcoal grills and other open flames outside because of the increased risk of brush and wildland fires.

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