2011 Southern Fire Season Was Early And Very Active
Warm Springs, Va – The 2011 fire season in the southeastern states was one of the most active in the last 10 years. Firefighters from the Warm Springs and James River Ranger Districts fought fire in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. The western states experienced a below normal fire season due to the heavy snow pack and slow melt from a long spring.
Nationally, 2011 was above average for acres burned with 8.7 million acres. Almost 4 million of those acres burned in the southeastern states. Approximately 73,000 fires occurred with over half of those fires occurring in the south. The forecast from January to April shows that our area will be right on the border of a normal to a below normal fire activity. Portions of Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are forecast to have high potential wildfire through March.
Many of Virginia’s brook trout streams are showing encouraging signs of recovery from the harmful effects of acid rain, according to the UVA environmental scientist and Highland County resident, Rick Webb. Professor Webb is the coordinator of the Virginia Trout Stream Sensitivity Study which began in 1987 with the goal of monitoring water quality in remote Virginia streams.
Professor Webb credits the improvement to the Clean Air Act Amendment in 1990 that imposed stricter regulations on emissions from coal fired power plants, as well as improvements to technologies that reduce emissions from power plants, automobiles and other machinery. Sulfur dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants declined by 64% from 1990 to 2009.