• 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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Jason Owen


Employed from 1995 at the James Hutton Institute (formerly Macaulay Land Use Research Institute) as a Soil Scientist providing soil analytical services and expertise on chemical and physical analyses of soils, wastes and related material. Providing project management and support on a range of projects for research, government and commercial interests including long term monitoring and environmental issues.

Main interests include soil quality and quality control requirements in relation to soil analysis, predominantly within the laboratory environment, including the testing and provision of various reference materials.