DISASTERS

Deep South drought kills crops, threatens herds, dries lakes

  • Brad Lang, a firefighter with the Alabama Forestry Commission, sets a backfire to help extinguish a wildfire near Brookside, Ala., on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Wildfires have burned hundreds of acres a day in the South as a drought worsens across much of the region. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

    Brad Lang, a firefighter with the Alabama Forestry Commission, sets a backfire to help extinguish a wildfire near Brookside, Ala., on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Wildfires have burned hundreds of acres a day in the South as a drought worsens across much of the region. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)  (The Associated Press)

  • Alabama Forestry Commission firefighters Jim Junkin, left, and Brad Lang talk about strategies for fighting a wildfire near Brookside, Ala., on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Wildfires are burning hundreds of acres of land daily across the South amid a drought. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

    Alabama Forestry Commission firefighters Jim Junkin, left, and Brad Lang talk about strategies for fighting a wildfire near Brookside, Ala., on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Wildfires are burning hundreds of acres of land daily across the South amid a drought. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 photo, a sunken boat is exposed by receding water levels on Lake Lanier as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Natural Resources Manager Nick Baggett looks on in Flowery Branch, Ga. Some of the South's most beautiful mountains and valleys this fall are filled with desperation, as a worsening drought kills crops, threatens cattle and sinks lakes to their lowest levels in years. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    In this Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 photo, a sunken boat is exposed by receding water levels on Lake Lanier as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Natural Resources Manager Nick Baggett looks on in Flowery Branch, Ga. Some of the South's most beautiful mountains and valleys this fall are filled with desperation, as a worsening drought kills crops, threatens cattle and sinks lakes to their lowest levels in years. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (The Associated Press)

Six months into a drought across much of the South, the weather is killing crops, threatening cattle and sinking lakes to their lowest levels in years.

The very worst conditions are in the mountains of northern Alabama and Georgia. But it's spread downhill and across 13 southern states, from Oklahoma and Texas to Florida and Virginia, putting about 33 million people in drought conditions, according to Thursday's U.S. Drought Monitor.

It's also causing wildfires, charring more than 12,000 acres in Alabama in the last 30 days.

The South has historically enjoyed abundant water, which has been fortunate, because much of its soil is poor at holding onto it.

But the region's booming growth has strained this resource and the drought is making it worse.