What the databases say: opportunities and limitations for spatial analysis of UK wildfire

Julia Mcmorrow, J. Walker, A Karunasaagarar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Poor reporting of wildfire is both a cause and consequence of the low awareness of wildfire in the UK. We lack a validated national picture of wildfire frequency and impact because statutory data on attended wildfires has been fragmented between regional brigades, thematically inconsistent and spatially weak. Consequently, we cannot reliably establish fire regimes and temporal trends, or conduct rigorous spatial analysis. The Incident Recording System (IRS), rolled out nationally in 2009, presents opportunities for point-based analysis and validation of remotely-sensed fire products. We review the potential of IRS and other fire databases for spatial analysis of UK wildfires. We compare MODIS-detected fires for a moorland study area against fires attended by Fire and Rescue Services, and show the value of a non-statutory geo-referenced database collected by National Park rangers for fire risk mapping. Recommendations are made for integrating IRS with other fire and spatial databases, and for recording fire polygon data.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Event5th Int Conference on Wildland Fire - South Africa
Duration: 9 May 201113 May 2011


Conference5th Int Conference on Wildland Fire
CitySouth Africa
Internet address


  • wildfire
  • fire statistics
  • GIS
  • Spatial analysis
  • satellite databases
  • moorland
  • vegetation fire


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