Drought finally leaving Western Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Western Oregon has finally escaped the drought that has plagued it since last spring.

The Statesman Journal reports (http://stjr.nl/1Qv8DPB ) that a drought outlook map released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday shows Western Oregon either not in a drought or in a situation where drought removal is likely.

The region has been seeing more precipitation than usual since October and a nearly normal snowpack in the Cascade Range. Those factors helped Western Oregon rebound from the drought that started taking hold in June.

The map still classifies Eastern Oregon as an area where drought remains but improves. Climate scientists say it could still take a lot to bring that region out of the drought.