PANAMA CITY, FL. (WMBB) — Over the last several weeks there has been little to no rainfall across the Panhandle leading to a drought.

Panama City received just under 2 inches of rain in October. The average throughout the month is normally twice that amount. About 50% of our area is under severe drought conditions or worse. Experts recommend you conserve water, while also being extremely careful about burning. With Bay, Holmes, Jackson, Walton, and Washington counties under a burn ban Bay County Fire Battalion Chief Wayne Gilmore says, these conditions lately have caused some fires to get out of hand.

“With the drought conditions that we have, to get out of control recently with some of the wind speeds, we’ve noticed that when a small fire happens, that fire expands to acres before the fire department can even get on scene,” said Gilmore.

The good news rain looks to return in the forecast this weekend.

To keep an eye on the latest drought conditions click here.