FIRES3: Forecasting and modelling wildfire risk for UK moorlands and heaths

  • Aylen, J. (Organiser)
  • McMorrow, J. M. (Organiser)
  • John Dold (Organiser)
  • Gina Cavan (Organiser)
  • Simon Thorp (Member of programme committee)
  • Jonathan Walker (Member of programme committee)
  • Colin Legg (Member of programme committee)
  • Mark Jones (Member of programme committee)

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


Seminar 3 of 4 in the FIRES series; Forecasting and Modelling Wildfire Risk for UK Moorlands and Heathlands, held at the University of Manchester, 31 March - 1 April 2009.

FIRES3 focussed on the ‘where, when and how’ of wildfires: Where do they occur? When do they break out? How do they behave once ignited? The official theme was ‘Forecasting and Modelling Wildfire Risk for UK Moorlands and Heaths’, but in practice the seminar ranged widely across Europe and California.

Our NERC and ESRC sponsors are keen to encourage transdisciplinary and international exchange; the seminar succeeded spectacularly well in this respect. We were fortunate to have speakers from California, Portugal, Spain, Corsica and Italy, as well as contributors from the Fire and Rescue Services, Met Office, academic and many other sectors. The result was truly excellent debate. It brought home the mutual benefits of cross-disciplinary working and of and how much academics and fire-fighters can learn from each other.

Many important lessons emerged which will help to move knowledge and management of UK wildfires forward. These ranged from the importance of socio-economic drivers such as land abandonment via its impact on fuel management, to need for better wildfire reporting and fire-fighter training. Download the presentations and discussants reports to learn more.

Much good work goes on regionally but the UK needs a national policy on wildfire. The cross-sector impact of wildfire requires joined-up thinking by policy-makers – a topic which will be taken up in FIRES4.

International visitors enjoyed a field visit in the Peak District before the 2-day seminar thanks to the Peak District National Park Fire Operations group, who provided a practical insight into UK wildfire issues.
PeriodJan 2009May 2009
Event typeConference
LocationManchester, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • wildfire management
  • risk assessment
  • forecasting
  • modelling

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research