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wildfires in the uk: are they changing?

There were more wildfires in the UK during the first four months of this year than during the whole of any other year on record. We saw a glut of wildfires in February, despite the season for wildfires traditionally running from late March to late September. But is 2019 just an unusual year or can we expect these changes to wildfire occurrence to be the new norm in the UK?

 

Four wildfire researchers came to the SMC to discuss: 

  • What are the common causes of wildfires in the UK?
  • What is the impact of wildfires on ecosystems, agriculture, etc? Is it always bad?
  • Why are we seeing more wildfires in the UK this year than in previous years? Is it all down to climate change?
  • What other changes are we seeing/can we expect to see in the occurrence of UK wildfires?
  • How do we currently manage wildfires (land management in areas at risk and management of actively burning wildfires)? Does this need to change in the future?
  • What can we learn from other countries who are traditionally more prone than the UK to wildfires?

 

Speakers:

Prof Guillermo Rein, Professor of Fire Science, Imperial College London

Dr Rory Hadden, Rushbrook Senior Lecturer in Fire Investigation, University of Edinburgh

Dr Thomas Smith, Assistant Professor in Environmental Geography, London School of Economics

Dr. Cathelijne Stoof, Assistant Professor, Soil Geography and Landscape Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

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