The 2021 UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and 2023 National Adaptation Programme identified wildfire as an increasing climate change risk. Climate change is creating alterations in the pattern of wildfires, especially in places where they have not been viewed as a major threat such as the UK. Defra and its agencies are also supporting the development of up-to-date wildfire management plans for 20,000 hectares of habitats (including forestry and peatland) by 2025 as part of a wildfire risk programme, as well as commissioning wildfire research to create an England wildfire risk map and to define effective wildfire risk reduction measures. The Home Office will be scoping out a wildfire strategy and action plan by mid-2024.

This POSTnote will describe the increasing risks from wildfires to landscapes and habitats, and the challenges for managing/mitigating them, such as understanding how wildfires spread to urban areas, ensuring the relevant knowledge and skills in authorities and land managers and having relevant plans and measures in place.  It would also set out the benefits of doing so, such as ensuring insurance remains affordable for vulnerable communities, protecting carbon stores and meeting biodiversity targets.

Work on this briefing commenced on w/c 8th January and will close to stakeholder contributions w/c 12th February

Photo by Malachi Brooks on Unsplash

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