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Wildfire Risk

Recognising and improving management of UK Wildfire risk through action research and knowledge exchange.

Vegetation fires are dangerous and costly to fight, with approximately £55m spent on them each year in the UK, and up to £1m for a single, large moorland fire. Wildfires can also have significant environmental and socio-economic costs. The Peak District National Park (PDNP) has been severely damaged by peatland wildfires, requiring £16m in restoration.

Although UK Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) deal with about 70,000 vegetation fires a year, but little work had been done to identify which are ‘wildfires’, or to map, forecast and fully cost their impact. Bringing together and coordinating the efforts of a broad range of stakeholders to address these issues is a key challenge, as is the need to improve how wildfire is recorded. The sustained effort of the Manchester team in engaging and building the trust of stakeholders across many sectors has underpinned the success of this action research, and put wildfire onto the national research and policy agenda.