Mapping and managing wildfire risk the UK: geospatial science and knowledge exchange

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationResearch


Wildfires cost the UK Fire Services on average £55 million pa to suppress and up to £1 million for a single large peat moorland fire. Environmental costs of peat moorland fires include water discolouration and ecological restoration. Yet wildfire remained a poorly recognised hazard until Spring 2011, when the Swinley Forest fire (pictured) in the crowded rural-urban interface of southeast England raised political awareness and resulted in severe wildfire being included for the first time in the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies.

The seminar will explain the growing risk of wildfires as a socio-ecological hazard in the UK. Challenges for the policy and practice of wildfire risk management will be analysed, where possible drawing parallels with New Zealand. It will introduce examples of applied research from the Knowledge for Wildfire knowledge exchange project, which are using GIS and remote sensing to build an evidence base for UK wildfire and its management. The main case study will be a project conducted with the Forestry Commission to evaluate New Zealand’s Wildfire Threat Analysis approach for a forest-urban interface in southeast England.
Period23 Feb 2017
Held atUniversity of Canterbury, New Zealand
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • wildfire
  • wildfire management
  • risk assessment
  • community resilience
  • geospatial analysis
  • knowledge exchange
  • mapping
  • policy
  • remote sensing
  • ecological restoration