Summer 2018 has seen a spate of major wildfires across the UK, which has led to an increased interest in UK wildfires – why they occur, what are the impacts, and what can we do to prevent them. For an introduction to UK wildfires see the FIRES seminars policy brief (PDF, 330KB) and a recent paper on wildfire policy and management (Open access). There are many other useful documents and presentations available on our webpages.
Spatial Mapping of wildfires
Our colleagues over at EnviroSAR have been doing sterling work mapping the extent of the Saddleworth Moor fire using European Space Agency Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. Pop over to their dedicated webpages on the event.
Podcasts related to wildfires
- Forest Fire (BBC Radio 3, “The Essay”)
- Fire: How Climate Change is Altering our Attitudes to Wildfires (BBC World Service, “The Forum”)
Monitoring of fire risk and fire events
There are a number of tools that are available that look at the fire risk in the UK and Europe, as well as monitor active fire events across the globe.
- The Met Office Fire Severity Index (FSI), which covers England and Wales, is an assessment of how severe a fire could become if one were to start. For further details of how this is calculated please visit the Met Office website.
- The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) gives up to date information on fire events and the fire season across Europe. (Latest EFFIS maps).
- At a global level, Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) uses satellite data to give near-real time data on active fires. (Latest FIRMS maps)
Here are just some articles from the media on the various wildfires in the UK, many including expert comment from colleagues from across the UK and abroad. Check out our Researchers Database for wildfire experts across the country. Expert comments on the recent wildfires can be found at the Science Media Centre.
We’ll aim to keep this page updated as events develop, but if you spot an interesting article, please let us know via Twitter @KfWf_Manchester or email Gareth Clay.
Saddleworth moor, England
- Wildfires on Saddleworth Moor ‘could last for weeks’ (The Times, 28 June 2018)
- Saddleworth Moor fire: 'HAZARDOUS' levels of air pollution in Manchester expert warns (The Express, 27 June 2018)
- The Army are going in! Firefighters call for military help as 20ft flames rage on Saddleworth Moor for a fourth day choking nearby homes with smoke and forcing families to wear dust masks and stay inside (MailOnline, 27 June 2018)
- Saddleworth Moor fire generating pollution that can harm health: experts (ITV News, 27 June 2018)
- Ash clouds and toxic smoke spread for miles as 'apocalyptic' wildfires engulf Saddleworth Moor (The Telegraph, 28 June 2018)
- A Massive Wildfire Is Burning Near Manchester in the United Kingdom (Earther.com, 28 June 2018)
- On board the flying lab testing UK wildfire smoke (BBC, 11 July 2018)
Winter Hill, England
- Winter Hill: Crews battle 'aggressive' merged moorland fire (BBC, 1 July 2018)
- Moorland fires: Exclusion zone at Winter Hill blaze (BBC, 5 July 2018)
- Lancashire firefighters set up exclusion zone amid BBQ risk (The Guardian, 5 July 2018)
- Crews tackle wildfire at Sutherland tree plantation (BBC, 7 July 2018)
- Wildfire breaks out in Highlands scorching power lines as two dozen fire crews tackle flames (Daily Record, 7 July 2018)
- Health warnings issued as Golspie wildfire spreads (BBC, 8 July 2018))
- UK wildfires: How has Wales been affected by the heatwave? (Express, 3 July 2018)
- More wildfires tackled across Wales as hot weather continues (BBC, 9 July 2018)
- Recap: Firefighters battling wildfires across North Wales (Daily Post, 10 July 2018)
- Number of gorse fires in Northern Ireland reaches 600 (Belfast Telegraph, 5 July 2018)
- Rasharkin gorse on fire for 24 hours (BBC, 5 July 2018)
- Irish Air Corps helicopters deployed in Northern Ireland (Belfast Telegraphy, 10 July 2018)
- Channel 5 News (with contribution from Andy Elliott, Wildfire Tactical Advisor @WildfireTacAd)
- More Saddleworth-style fires likely as climate changes, scientists warn (The Guardian, 29 June 2018)
- This is why planes are not being used to fight the Saddleworth Moor fire (Manchester Evening News, 27 June 2018)
- Saddleworth Moor fire -helicopter drops 1,000 litres of water on Aberystwyth wildfire as man is held over ‘arson’ amid ‘blaze Britain’ heatwave (The Sun, 29 June 2018)
Radio or TV clips
- Moorland fires update, BBC Radio Manchester (expires 27 July 2018)