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Forest fires that have been ranging for weeks have consumed thousands of acres in eight states including Tennessee. The Knoxville News Sentinel and the Tennessean spoke to Henri Grissino-Mayer, professor of geography, about the possible connection between the drought in the region and the wildfires. Grissino-Mayer has made a career of studying both droughts and wildfires. He said conditions from a historic standpoint are not that bad.

“It is a severe drought, but we have had much more catastrophic droughts in the past,” he said. “This drought has only lasted about five months. Go back to 2007-08 and that lasted two years; that was a much worse drought than this one. Droughts like to beget droughts; once you are in one it is very hard to get out of one.” Read the News Sentinel and Tennessean story online.