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Henri Grissino-Mayer, geography professor and fire ecologist  was interviewed by WATE and WVLT last month about the November 2016 wildfires in Sevier County.

In his interview with WATE, Grissino-Mayer cautions homeowners in the Smoky Mountains. He said that based on his studies of the history of wildfires, he believes another big wildfire could happen.

Grissino-Mayer said that the trees are an indication of past wildfire history. The reason the recent wildfire was able to gain as much traction as it did is because those trees hadn’t been burned in years, and was therefore fuel for the fire.

In his interview with WVLT, Grissino-Mayer further explains that the wildfires were a catastrophe waiting to happen. Now, he’s calling on Gatlinburg to do three things to prevent an event such as this from happening again.

Those three things include spreading out the homes in the mountains to allow more distance between them, creating safer roadways that allow easier access off the mountain, and conducting controlled burns periodically. These could have mitigated the crises associated with the recent wildfires.