Threats of forest fires are on the rise. That’s due to a flash drought -- or a drought that strikes suddenly -- that’s sweeping across North Carolina and 13 other southern states. September’s record high temperatures and lack of rainfall are leading officials to implement fire bans in some areas of the South. But fires aren’t necessarily harmful for the southern forests.
Last year was the wettest on record in the United States, and flooding was a major concern. Now the South is facing the opposite problem.
According to the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council, nine North Carolina counties are seeing severe drought conditions, twelve are experiencing abnormally dry conditions, and nearly 50 are in a moderate drought.
The conditions are mostly present in the central and western parts of the state. But with the next couple of weeks forecast to be just as dry, eastern North Carolina will soon be seeing impacts, too.