(KRON) – In the North Bay, Sonoma County held a virtual town hall to give an update on the drought situation. At last check, the county was under severe drought conditions, which means risk for wildfires.

Speaking at a virtual meeting Thursday, Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins said the county is now in its third driest water year on record, and water reservoirs are near historic lows.

“Lake Sonoma is at 53 percent of capacity and Lake Sonoma is at 59 percent capacity, and in other words, both are nearly half empty,” she said.

The state drought monitor map shows the county is classified under extreme drought conditions, meaning areas are at risk for wildfires year-round.

 “This is a huge strain on the forest ecosystems,” said Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Bert Whitaker. “Our approach in real time is currently to work pretty aggressively throughout the open space preserves we managed, numerous ones around the county around these fire safe corridors with fuel breaks and places for emergency access.”

A panel of environmental leaders spoke at the meeting, including a meteorologist from the National Weather Service.

“What climate research is showing is that droughts are becoming more frequent and they’re often lasting for more than just one year, so that trend is likely to continue where we will see these periods of multi-year droughts,” said Meteorologist Brooke Bingaman.

Bingaman says the latest long-range weather forecast is showing “La Nina” weather patterns, which is known to bring drought conditions.

Water quality caused by the drought was also discussed. Environmental officials cautioned people to keep a look out for blue-green algae in local waters that could cause health issues for humans and pets.

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In the meantime, outdoor water restrictions are in place in Sonoma County.

“That is why conservation in this summer in particular is absolutely critical,” Hopkins said. “Remember that water saved now is water we can use later and saving water now will reduce the chance that we’ll have to take even more drastic measures next year if we have another dry winter.