• Parts of Scotland receive some of the highest levels of rainfall in Europe, but we also experience periods of intense drying when the danger of wild fires can be severe.
  • Wildfires cause significant damage to agricultural, forestry, biodiversity, recreational and sporting interests, and threaten infrastructure, property, and life
  • Wildfires place a significant operational and cost burden on the Fire and Rescue Service, directly in fighting wildfires, and in the requirement to redeploy resources to maintain geographic coverage
  • The aim of the project is to contribute to the development of a Fire Danger Rating System for the Scottish environment and vegetation
  • Wildfires destroy large and small with impunity
  • Wildfires destroy large and small with impunity
  • Understanding how fires become established and spread in complex vegetation is challenging
  • The project is carrying out field studies to examine fires spread in Scottish vegetation types (Andy Taylor discussing vegetation characteristics with Rory Hadden and colleagues)
  • Determining the quantities and moisture contents of different fuels are integral to modelling potential fire risks
  • Numerous weather, vegetation and soil parameters are included within the rating system model to predict the level of fire risk.

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Ignition for Scottish Fuel Types (Lead: Edinburgh University)

This work package is led by Dr Rory Hadden of the Rushbrook Fire Laboratory, University of Edinburgh. The Rushbrook Fire Laboratory has the only Fire Propagation Apparatus (FPA) in the UK which has a demonstrated track record in assessing fuel flammability. The expertise to use this apparatus has been developed by the Dr Hadden’s team. The use of standardised flammability testing apparatus will deliver consistent assessment of vegetation flammability under highly controlled conditions.

The intent of this work package is to investigate how fuel moisture codes underlying the Canadian FWI System can be improved to better represent the moisture dynamics of critical Scottish fuel components. This will be done by generating data on the following:

  • Flammability assessments: Fuel types from distinct vegetation classes
  • Fuel moisture x weather conditions relationships: COSMOS
  • Fire spread: Controlled Burns
  • Fuel model development and testing
  • Identify threshold values for ignition for relevant fuel types