• 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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The project has a dedicated project manager (Jason Owen) and senior project lead (Andy Taylor) who act to keep the project on time, to maintain effective project relationships with Scottish Government and Steering Group for the project and address all reporting and engagement requirements. The project management team maintain regular communications with all project staff and sub-contractors, working to maintain a dynamic and fully collaborative interdisciplinary team.

Steering group

The Scottish Government has appointed a Project Officer and a project Steering Group to help guide the project and oversee fulfilment of the aims and objectives.

Andrew Coupar of Scottish Natural Heritage is the Project Officer (succeeding Graham Sullivan of SNH),

The Steering Group also includes:

  • Bruce Farquharson (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service),
  • Ann McArdle (Scottish Government Resilience Division),
  • Amy Nicolson (Scottish Forestry) and
  • Rob Stacey (Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service).  

The Steering Group will be kept informed of progress, and will meet with the contractors at key stages of the project. It is anticipated that the Steering Group will draw on additional independent expertise as required, either through formal membership of the group or through consultation.