BPR News: "WNC Community Contemplates Upcoming Wildfire Season, Seeks Solutions"
More than 100 western North Carolina residents, seeking to better understand the epic 2016 fall wildfire season and prepare for future fires, attended a panel discussion themed "Before We Burn Again" on April 3 in Asheville, NC. Research ecologists Steve Norman (Eastern Threat Center) and Katie Greenberg (Southern Research Station) were among the panel experts who discussed aspects of fire ecology, weather, management, and planning. "Drought is a recurring phenomenon here. We need to be ready for it,” said Norman, who has studied the occurrence of drought and its importance to fall fire seasons on federal lands in the Southern Appalachians. Though cycles of drought are not surprising, the federal land area burned in fall 2016 is: Norman found that more area burned in 2016 than in the prior 45 years combined, with human causes largely responsible for the ignitions. Blue Ridge Public Radio (BPR) covered the "Before We Burn Again" event, which was sponsored by Mountain True and the Asheville Citizen-Times.