FIRES2, The impact of wildfire on ecosystem services: relationships between wildfire, climate change and people,

  • McMorrow, J. M. (Chair)
  • McMorrow, J. (Organiser)
  • Aylen, J. (Organiser)
  • Gina Cavan (Organiser)
  • Mark Jones (Member of programme committee)
  • Simon Thorp (Member of programme committee)
  • Colin Legg (Member of programme committee)
  • Claire Quinn (Member of programme committee)
  • Jonathan Walker (Member of programme committee)
  • Andy Elliott (Other)
  • Michael Bruce (Other)

Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch


Seminar 2 of 4 in the FIRES series: The impact of wildfire on ecosystem services: relationships between wildfire, climate change and people; Manchester, 24 June 2008. Cross-sector seminar for 38 invited fire professionals, land managers, policy-makers and researchers.

An invited audience of 38 attended the one-day FIRES2 seminar in Manchester. The theme was the relationships between climate change, people, vegetation and wildfire, and the implications of a changed wildfire regime for ecosystem services. Over half of the attendees were practicitoners. Five participants were supported under the series’ early career scheme, acting as session rapporteurs and presenting posters. Scottish Natural Heritage sponsorship for the early career scheme and the evening public lecture is gratefully acknowledged.

To encourage discussion on the day, the two keynote papers and responses were pre-circulated. The respondents were chosen to represent contrasting sectors and disciplines. Keynote speakers made brief presentations which were followed by the respondents and then opened to round table discussion. Pre-circulated keynotes, responses and poster abstracts are printed in the conference booklet, available from

Mark Jones, the Chief Fire Officer Association’s spokesperson on wildfire, gave the first keynote on the frequency, timing and distribution of wildfires in the UK. A lively discussion followed, assisted by contrasting views from respondents from the Peak District National Park ranger service (Sean Prendergast), Dorset heaths (Andy Elliott) and the land management community/EuroFire (Michael Bruce).

In session two, Mark Gallani of the Met Office, standing in for Claire Goodess, outlined UKCIP climate change scenarios for uplands. The discussion focused on two related implications – fire risk and hazard. Sarah Haigh (Natural England) flagged the implications of climate change for access and resulting fire risk from likely increased visitor pressure and potential sources of ignition. Matt Davies (FireBeaters) outined the potential implications for biophysical hazard in terms of vegetation vulnerability to fire, and the combined effect of risk and hazard on wildfire regime.

Breakout groups discussed the impact of these hypothesised changes in fire regime on ecosystem services of moorlands and heathlands, and the research needs arising from this.

The day closed with a reception and public lecture from Jim Smalley of the Wildland Fire Protection section of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on ''Wildfires and Climate Change: an American Perspective'. The presentation set the day’s discussions in context by providing a North American perspective on climate change, wildfire and the implications for management.
PeriodFeb 2008Jul 2008
Event typeConference
LocationManchesterShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • wildfire management
  • wildfire policy
  • climate change
  • ecosystem services

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research