5 notable U.S. droughts

Feeling hot, hot, hot

2002—Colorado

Various studies of this 2002 drought found that Colorado’s water flows during the period were at their lowest levels in 300 years. The state’s snowpack was 53 percent of average on April 1, 2002, resulting in a plethora of related problems, such as mandatory water rationing in Denver, contaminated water supplies statewide and widespread wildfires. One especially fierce conflagration, known as the Hayman fire, burned more than 100,000 acres south of Denver, forcing the evacuation of 5,340 people and leading to nearly $40 million in firefighting costs.

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