A lecture and book-signing with nature writer Gary Ferguson will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Billings Public Library.

The event is free and open to the public. It is presented by The Writer’s Voice and the Billings Public Library.

Ferguson said there have always been the occasional big fires, but they have been far more common since roughly 2000.

Ferguson says we are facing a “perfect storm” when it comes to wildfires. Climate change has led to less snow, longer droughts and more wind, and there’s a lot of fuel on the forest floors. The result is 10 more weeks of fire season than we saw in the early 1970s, and those fires are hotter and often beyond control. Ferguson talks about the role fire should play in a healthy ecosystem and the new reality of wildfire in the West.

Ferguson’s book "Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West" explores the science behind this phenomenon and the ongoing research to find a solution and details how years of fire suppression and chronic drought have combined to make the situation so dire.

Ferguson also brings to life the extraordinary efforts of those responsible for fighting wildfires and explains how nature reacts in the aftermath of flames.

Ferguson has written more than 20 nonfiction books on nature and science, including "Hawks Rest" and "The Carry Home." As a nature writer, his books focus on issues of ecology and conservation, with a particular focus on how people interact with nature.

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Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.