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The UT professor who predicted the devastating Sevier County wildfires of late last year has won an award. The university has named Henri Grissino-Mayer a James R. Cox professor, and with that comes $25,500 over the course of three years.

WBIR and the Knoxville News Sentinel reported on Grissino-Mayer’s recent award.

He said he plans on using that money to raise awareness of the dangers of wildfires.

“Not only do we want to prevent another Gatlinburg from happening, but we need to raise a level of awareness among the people, the policy-makers, the decision-makers,” Grissino-Mayer said. “We need to raise an awareness of what wildfire has done in the past and what it can do in the future.”

That’s Grissino-Mayer’s mission that he is now enabled to pursue thanks to this award.

Grissino-Mayer has been a professor of geography at the University of Tennessee since 2000.