Knowledge for Wildfire

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Environment, Education and Development

Abstract

The UK has an under-reported wildfire problem. Uncontrolled vegetation fires cause severe environmental damage and economic and social disruption when weather conditions are right, as in spring 2011. Wildfires are costly and dangerous to fight. Impacts on ecosystem services are poorly understood by practitioners. Accessible knowledge is needed at all stages of the hazard chain from prevention, preparedness, detection and suppression to restoration. Much potentially relevant NERC and ESRC-funded science exists, but little is currently applied to the UK.
The fellowship will facilitate the uptake of NERC research to improve the management of wildfire risk in the UK. Building on momentum from the FIRES seminar series and work with user fora, the fellow will be a knowledge broker between NERC researchers, practitioners and policy-makers, joining up poorly-connected sectors. A staged approach will; promote existing research; identify operational and policy barriers and opportunities, and adapt outputs; and broker new research partnerships.

Publications

10 25 50

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Davies GM (2016) The role of fire in UK peatland and moorland management: the need for informed, unbiased debate. in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

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Davies GM (2016) The peatland vegetation burning debate: keep scientific critique in perspective. A response to Brown et al. and Douglas et al. in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

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Gazzard R (2016) Wildfire policy and management in England: an evolving response from Fire and Rescue Services, forestry and cross-sector groups. in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

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McMorrow J (2019) UK wildfires: prevention is more than a fire service issue in The Conversation

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Roos C (2016) Living on a flammable planet: interdisciplinary, cross-scalar and varied cultural lessons, prospects and challenges in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

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Stoof C (2017) Controlled fires, politics, and the media in Geophysical Research Abstracts

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Stoof, C. (2012) Global wildfire awareness; North and South in Wildfire Magazine

 
Description CONTEXT
The project goal was to improve the recognition and management of wildfire risk in the UK. As a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow, findings relate to the process of engagement between researchers and stakeholders and the impact generated. Impacts are therefore reported here and also in 'Narrative Impact'.
The objectives were to: (i) evidence and raise awareness of the UK wildfire problem; (ii) promote a joined up, cross-sector approach to risk assessment and management; (iii) build capacity for future research by developing a community of practice between practitioners and researchers (especially early career researchers); and (iv) promote mutually beneficial new research.
The Fellow worked primarily with the England and Wales Wildfire Forum -a cross-sector body of Fire Service, land managers, government departments and others- to build an evidence base which has successfully raised awareness of the UK wildfire problem. It drew on existing NERC-funded research (her own and that of others) and new research incorporating stakeholder datasets and practitioner knowledge.

MOST SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS FROM THE AWARD
The relevant objective is given in square brackets. The objectives have very largely been achieved. Challenges are covered in Narrative Impact.
(1) The most tangible achievement is inclusion of 'Severe wildfires' in the 2013 National Risk Assessment and the public version -- the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies, and its subsequent retention in 2015 and 2017 [objective i]. The evidence provided to the Cabinet Office included where and when wildfires occur and their impact on health, communities, infrastructure and the natural environment. For example, wildfires as a whole cost UK Fire Services an average £55 million a year. Those in densely populated areas, such as the week-long May 2011 Swinley Forest fire in Berkshire, may be small by international standards but can disrupt everyday life and threaten the health and well-being of surrounding communities and infrastructure. Less severe wildfires incidents occur annually, although fire statistics have only allowed wildfires to be comprehensively evidenced on a national scale since 2009. The largest fires of up to 60 square km occur in open habitats such as heathland and moorlands. They account for 87% of GB's total burned area and can incur inflict significant environmental damage, especially to peatland ecosystem services; for example to biodiversity, water quality and recreation, incurring costs in ecological restoration and water company costs to treat discoloured water from burned peat catchments. In northwest England, United Utilities invested £22 million between 2005 and 2015 for their Sustainable Catchment and Management Project to restore moorland and protect water courses, much of it from damage due to wildfires.
Continued inclusion in the National Risk Register has raised awareness of severe wildfire risk, resulting in regional assessment of the risk and emergency planning to tackle major incidents. The NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship has therefore helped to change national policy.
(2) The Fellowship has raised awareness of the need for a cross-sector approach to wildfire risk assessment and management [objective ii]. For example, evidence provided to Government by the Fellow and others led to wildfire being recognised as a cross-cutting issue for climate change (Climate Change Risk Assessment 2012). Efficient and effective wildfire risk management requires inter-agency cooperation at all phases of the hazard chain; before, during and after incidents. This happens locally, but at a national level, the UK has traditionally seen wildfire mainly as a fire service problem. As a result, the Government department with oversight of the fire service (currently the Home Office) 'owns' wildfire risk and management has focused mainly on putting fires out. The Fellowship has helped recognition of the need to manage wildfire risk at each phase of the hazard chain; from preventing severe fires by managing vegetation 'fuel' and public access (people start almost all UK fires), to managing the social, economic and environmental impacts at the recovery stage. In short, wildfire is beginning to be seen not just as a Fire Service problem, but also as a land and people management issue, especially when planning for climate change. DEFRA, for instance, now require applicants for agri-support to assess wildfire risk on their land.
Cooperation between sectors evolved ad hoc within local fire groups and then via national stakeholder forums. Being part of this process has been a rewarding experience an opportunity for action research. It resulted in a paper for the Royal Society co-produced with Forestry Commission England.
(3) The Fellowship has successfully built capacity for future research by developing a 'community of practice' between practitioners and researchers [objective iii]. This was achieved by organising workshops, seminars and sessions at national conferences, by encouraging networking and making introductions.
The project built trust and established an excellent working relationship with the England and Wales Wildfire Forum and other national and local forums by actively seeking to understand members research needs and their operational contexts. Attending training exercises and carrying out projects with stakeholders was also important, especially projects which added value to users datasets. A good example is analysis of Incident Recording System data; it led to a new definition of wildfire for reporting purposes, which was used in the Scottish Government wildfire manual. It demonstrated how value could be added to practitioner datasets and the results used to evidence wildfire prevalence and impact on fire service resources.
The willingness of practitioners and researchers to work together is evidenced by the two one-day wildfire researchers workshops held in 2017 and 2018. Officers from the England and Wales and the Scottish Wildfire Forums took part alongside some 20 researchers. Indeed, the initiative is now being driven by the Forums. A NERC Highlight Topic submission is planned.
A further measure of success in engaging academics in wildfire knowledge exchange has been the steady increase in the number of established and early career researchers attending the UK Wildfire conferences, the number of papers and posters offered and their transdisciplinary content. The conferences have a genuine balance between academics and practitioners. They also now attract a growing international audience. Giving small bursaries to early career researchers to present their work as a poster at the biennial UK Wildfire conferences has helped to build capacity to carry on the work. We now have well-established wildfire research groups working on UK wildfire, including Kings College London, Exeter, Edinburgh, Imperial College London, Glasgow and Manchester. Most previously worked on wildfire overseas or are new. The Knowledge for Wildfire online database of over 70 UK-based vegetation fire researchers is promoting existing vegetation fire research, and will hopefully facilitate new partnerships and peer-to-peer collaboration.
(4) The Fellowship has promoted mutually beneficial new research [objective iv]. Two examples are the 4-year NERC-funded project, 'Towards a UK Fire Danger Rating System, led by a colleague at Manchester, and the EnviroSAR spin out company. However, there are still significant knowledge gaps, for example: understanding whether prescribed fire exacerbates or prevents wildfire; how burn severity influences the effects of fire on ecosystem services; economic costing fire impacts; and social science research on the socio-ecology of vegetation fire.
Exploitation Route Some of the lessons learned about the process of knowledge exchange are worth noting for future KE Fellows:
(a) The value of a good policy brief: the policy brief from the earlier ERSC/NERC-funded FIRES seminar series opened doors to practitioner networks and membership of key national stakeholder forums and advisory groups.
(b) The support of an existing stakeholder group (the England and Wales Wildfire Forum) was critically important. The Fellow was able to build on working relationships with the Forum established in the FIRES seminar series. A steering group of practitioners from key sectors also helped keep the project grounded.
(c) The importance of appreciating the operational context within which research findings will be applied cannot be over-estimated. Much was learnt from attending local Fire Group meetings, post-fire debriefings and field training exercises, by serving on national forums and by contributing to practitioner conferences.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Security and Diplomacy,Other

URL http://www.kfwf.org.uk
 
Description A major societal impact of the NERC Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowship has been in raising awareness of UK wildfire as a semi-natural hazard, culminating in the official recognition of severe wildfire as a national risk. This was achieved by working as core member of the England and Wales Wildfire Forum (EWWF), the non-statutory 'go-to' body on wildfire. By providing a scientific basis for the EWWF evidence to Government, the KE Fellowship has helped to change national policy. As a result of evidence provided by the KE Fellow and other members of EWWF on likelihood and impact, severe wildfire was recognised on the 2012 Olympic Risk Register and was included for the first time on the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies in 2013. This work with the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat and the Resilience and Emergencies Directorate of the Department for Communities and Local Government led to the KE Fellow being designated as an expert on wildfire for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). SAGE members provide advice to Government in the event of a wildfire emergency and contribute to the biennial confidential National Risk Assessment (NRA), which reviews all risks on the National Risk Register, in this case wildfire. The KE Fellow subsequently took part in two further NRAs which led to severe wildfire being retained in the 2015 and 2017 National Risk Registers. The Knowledge for Wildfire website is included as one of four wildfire links in the s National Risk Register 2017. Official recognition of wildfire as a national risk led to improved awareness across the UK. In a 2015 survey conducted by the KE Fellow, two thirds of Local Resilience Forums included wildfire in their local Community Risk Register, and half of the 54 British fire services included wildfire in their own Integrated Risk Management Plan or local area service plan - a marked improvement on the earlier situation. The KE Fellow was one of the first academics to demonstrate the value of Fire Service national fire statistics, known as the Incidence Recording System (IRS), for quantifying and mapping wildfire risk. Working with the England and Wales Wildfire Forum (EWWF) and the Wildfire Group of Chief Fire Officers' Association (now National Fire Chiefs Council), the KE Fellow proposed a definition of significant wildfires based on analysis of the Fire Service Incident Recording System (IRS) data for spring 2011. The definition was needed because IRS did not distinguish wildfires from any other outdoor vegetation fire such as bin fires. Vegetation fires which were considered as significant wildfires by Fire services were also not flagged as 'primary' (fires regarded as significant for national records), largely because they ignored regional differences in fire-fighting strategy, such the number of vehicles or personnel deployed, size of area burnt, injuries and other types of damage. Many significant wildfire incidents were therefore being missed. The proposed definition was used in the Scottish Government's Operational Fire Service Guidance on Wildfire (2013, section 3.4, p11). Its significance lies in providing a more appropriate way to record, and therefore evidence the number of significant wildfires occurring across the UK, and to monitor and map trends over time. As a member of the Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group (FRSUG), based in the Home Office (and previously in the Department for Communities and Local Government), the KE Fellow raised wildfire issues beyond the core Fire Service and structural fire focus. She contributed evidence to Government consultations recommending ways to improve how wildfire is reported within IRS. The Chief Fire Officers Association (now National Fire Chiefs Council) used evidence from her analysis of IRS data on the 2011 spring wildfires in England in their submission to 2013 'The Future of IRS' Government consultation on fire statistics. The Fellowship also provided a voice for researchers wanting to analyse wildfire data at the incident-level, rather than aggregated to larger areas; evidence submitted by the KE Fellow to an FRSUG review in 2016 showed its potential for future impactful research on UK wildfire risk and the limited subset of key data fields required. Through her role on EWWF, the KE Fellow has contributed to many Government consultations, including the Climate Change Risk Assessment 2012 and the National Adaptation Plan in 2014. She reviewed chapters for the Scottish Government's Operational Fire Service Guidance on Wildfire (2013, cited above) and the equivalent Wildfire Prevention Manual for England. In this way, the KE Fellowship improved practitioners and Government awareness of NERC research on wildfire. Perhaps most significantly, the Fellowship's legacy is in helping to build a wildfire community of practitioners and researchers in the UK and their capacity to do impactful wildfire research. There has been a noticeable increase in early career and established researchers now working on UK wildfire issues. Recent NERC grants have arisen directly from the UK Wildfire Research Group, set up to provide continuity when the Fellowship ended. It is a forum for researchers and practitioners to horizon scan and co-develop grant applications based on real end-user needs. Notable examples are a NERC-funded project and an equivalent one in Scotland to develop the underpinning science for a future UK-wide Fire Danger Rating System. CHALLENGES TO MEETING OBJECTIVES The knowledge exchange process is often assumed to be linear. In practice, it was a two-way learning process with many feedback loops. It takes time to build trust, and also a willingness to understand one another's operational contexts, within which the research must fit. For example, regional and national wildfire risk maps can be produced from national IRS fire statistics, but future access to data at the level of individual incidents will be limited by data protection requirements. Managing stakeholders expectations is also necessary. Resources largely restricted engagement to stakeholders in England and Wales, although the KE Fellow took part in a cross-border workshop in Ireland and in research with the (then) Chief Fire Officers Association. In densely populated areas, wildfire is less about fire size and severity and more about social impact - the potential human impact when fires burn close to settlements and infrastructure - so development planning as well as land management and are critical considerations. However, it proved difficult to engage spatial planners and the insurance sector. Planning Policy Guidance documents contain relevant statements (see Publications; Gazzard et al, 2015), but to mitigate wildfire risk in the same way as flood risk, planners will require stronger guidance and access to appropriate risk mapping tools. A controversial international lesson to convey has been that in certain circumstances, vegetation fire may have beneficial effects; that suppressing all fires in the absence of other land and access management can lead to more severe fires. Wildfire risk will increase if land is not managed to prevent build-up of vegetation 'fuel'. Any change in land management is likely to change wildfire risk - a relevant consideration in post-Brexit Britain. Since people cause most fires, public access may also need to be further restricted at times of high fire risk. Both are controversial strategies because they have knock-on effects on other land uses such as agriculture, recreation and housing development. For example, three recent publications in which the KE Fellow is a co-author (Davies et al. 2016 a, b, c) have stimulated academic and stakeholder debate on the role of prescribed fire and its relationship to wildfire in the UK. Nevertheless, wildfire risk management deserves to be included as an ecosystem service alongside flood risk management. Finally, the interdisciplinary nature of wildfire remains a challenge; wildfire issues encompass a very wide range of stakeholders, whether in academia, the practitioner community or policy-making. A cross-council approach is needed to address the natural, physical and social science of fire, including its political ecology.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Security and Diplomacy,Other
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Citations in POSTNote 603, Climate Change and UK Wildfire; contributed evidence and served as external reviewer
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
URL https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/POST-PN-0603
 
Description Fire Service Research and Statistics User Group (FRSUG)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a guidance/advisory committee
Impact The Fire Service Research and Statistics User Group (FRSUG), now based within the Home Office, advises on how national fire statistics are developed for the Fire Services' Incident Recording system (IRS) . They wish to see wider use of IRS as a publically-available data set. FRSUG has an acknowledged Fire Service and structural fire focus, yet half the fires which Fire Services attend (excluding false alarms) are outdoor (77,000 in financial year 2012-13) and are mostly vegetation fires. Some 4,600 of these were 'large' fires. In 2011-12, Fire Services attended almost four times more vegetation fire incidents than flooding, although the impacts of flooding are greater. As a member of FRSUG, I communicated the needs of NERC researchers, Fire Services, and Government agencies on how wildfire is recorded within the Fire Services' Incident Recording System (IRS), and how this geo-referenced dataset can then be used for spatial and temporal analysis of fire regime over time. I took part in official consultations on IRS and collated evidence on wildfire incidence and location for the National Risk Assessment and its public-facing version, the National Risk Register (see NRR entry). My role has been to provide a voice for NERC and other wildfire researchers who wish to use IRS to quantify wildfire risk. IRS will soon become a publically-available dataset, so impacts on wider research will start to become apparent. However, the record-level data required for this research is likely to be generalised to comply with statutory data protection. In the 2016 consultation on Record-level Analysis of IRS, I submitted evidence to show how UK researchers are starting to use IRS data for spatial and temporal analysis of wildfire risk and why this is of value to Fire and Rescue Services and DEFRA agencies.
URL http://www.frsug.org/index.html
 
Description Gave expert evidence for POSTnote on 'Climate Change and Wildfire Frequency'
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
 
Description National Risk Assessments, wildfire, 2013, 2015 and 2017
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
Impact Evidence was submitted to the Cabinet Office 2013 National Risk Assessment (NRA) and severe wildfires were included for the first time as a significant risk in the National Risk Register (NRR). Risk rating has changed since 2013 to reflect work undertaken by Forestry Commission England and other members of the England and Wales Wildfire Forum, including the KE Fellow. The Fellow continued to work with the Forum to better understand and evidence wildfire risk for subsequent submissions to the NRA in 2015 and 2017. Wildfire was included again in the NRR in 2015 (sections 2.60 - 2.69) and 2017 (pp 31-32). The latter cites the Knowledge for Wildfire website as the resource for wildfire knowledge exchange; see Citation of other policy documents, National Risk Assessment (2017). Continued inclusion of 'severe wildfire' in the NRA is significant because Local Resilience Forums must now assess the risk of severe wildfire at the regional level in their Community Risk Registers. Fire and Rescue Services provide this initial regional risk assessment of 'severe wildfire' and the earlier companion risk, 'Forest and moorland fires'. It is resulting in better awareness of the risk by Fire and Rescue Services and other Category I emergency responders and a more efficient and effective public service delivery of wildfire risk management. For instance, in a 2015 survey of the 54 Fire and Rescue Services in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man conducted by the Chief Fire Officers Association Wildfire Group, two-thirds (36) said that their Community Risk Register included wildfire, and 52% had considered it in either their Integrated Risk Management Plans or their local area service plans. The KE fellow co-presented a paper on this survey at Wildfire 2015 with the Forestry Commission technical adviser on wildfire and the Chair of the former Chief Fire Officers Association (now National Fire Chiefs Council) Wildfire Group.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-risk-register-of-civil-emergencies
 
Description National Risk Register
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact For context see: Citation of other policy documents - National Risk Register (2013); Membership of an advisory committee - NRA 2013, 2015, 2017; and Membership of an advisory committee - SAGE.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/419549/20150331_2015-NRR-W...
 
Description National Risk Register
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact One of the major achievements of the Fellowship has been in building a robust evidence base and raising awareness of UK wildfire which has helped to recognise and retain severe wildfire as a risk on the National Risk Register. The impact of inclusion in the NNR has been improved awareness of severe wildfire risk, with consequent regional assessment and emergency planning via two routes: (a) Local Resilience Forums in their Community Risk Registers; (b) Fire and Rescue Services in their Integrated Risk Management Plans - see 2015 survey of Fire and Rescue Services uptake of wildfire risk assessment (reported under Membership of an advisory committee, National Risk Register 2013, 2015, 2017).
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/211867/NationalRiskRegiste...
 
Description National Risk Register
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact For context see: Citation of other policy documents - National Risk Register (2013); Membership of an advisory committee - NRA 2013, 2015, 2017; and Membership of an advisory committee - SAGE. The 2017 National Risk Register cites the Knowledge for Wildfire website as the resource for wildfire knowledge exchange; one of four links on p32.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/644968/UK_National_Risk_Re...
 
Description Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE); wildfire
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Provided evidence on severe wildfire to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for the Olympic risk Register and 2013 National Risk Assessment (NRA) as a member of the England and Wales Wildfire Forum team in 2012. This contributed to 'Severe wildfire' being added to the National Risk Register (NRR) in 2013, and reconfirmed as a national risk in the 2015 and 2017 NNRs. Subsequently consulted several times by the (then) wildfire lead at the then Department for Communities and Local Government, and the equivalent lead for the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat, both of whom who were members of the KE Fellowship KfWf steering group. Registered as a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) to provide advice to Government in the event of a severe wildfire incident and for the 2-yearly National Risk Assessment (NRA) process. Contributed evidence to the NRA published in July 2017. Severe wildfire was retained in the 2017 NRR, and includes a link to the Knowledge for Wildfire website on p32; see Citation in other policy documents, National Risk Register 2017.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/211867/NationalRiskRegiste...
 
Description Scottish Government Operational Fire Service Guidance on Wildfire 2013 and National Operational Wildfire Guidance 20178
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact For recording purposes, the definition of (significant) 'wildfire' in section 3.5 (p10) of the Scottish manual is a vegetation fire which meets any one of five criteria. Three criteria use the Fire Service's Incident Recording System (IRS): a vegetation fire involving a geographical area of 1 hectare or greater; or requiring a committed resource of 4 or more fire appliances; or requiring resources to be committed for 6 or more hours. These three are based on a pilot project with the Chief Fire Officers Association and the England and Wales Wildfire Forum in which we analysed 19 days of IRS statistics on vegetation fires for England from spring 2011. The aim was to evaluate the suitability of IRS for mapping wildfire regime, but we first had to develop a definition of significant wildfire to differentiate it from other vegetation fires (since technically a wildfire in the UK is 'any unplanned or unwanted vegetation fire which requires a decision or action on suppression'). The definition was developed in consultation with fire officers and allows for regional variations in resources and strategies. It was subsequently used in the Scottish manual (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/10/6118) and has therefore determined the way in which significant wildfire has been recorded by Scottish Fire and Rescue Services since 2013. In 2017, the definition of wildfire was adopted in the UK-wide National Operational Wildfire Guidance (https://www.ukfrs.com/guidance/wildfires). It provides a nationally consistent way to evidence the likelihood and distribution of operationally significant wildfires.
URL https://www.ukfrs.com/guidance/wildfires
 
Description Wildfire cited as a cross-sector risk in Climate Change Risk Assessment
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Wildfire was recognised as a cross-sector risk (BD12) in the 2012 Climate Change Risk Assessment, primarily in the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services sector report. It is cited in two of the 11 Summary sector reports, and four of the other full Sector reports (Agriculture, Forestry, Built Environment, Transport). I submitted evidence to the public consultation. Following this, a number of government agencies have recognised wildfire risk: (i) Most significantly, DEFRA have recently included a requirement that applicants for agri-support schemes (ILS, HLS) submit a wildfire fire plan and a wildfire risk assessment. (ii) The Natural Hazard Partnership produced a Science note in 2013 on Wildfire (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/nhp/media.jsp?mediaid=15110&filetype=pdf). It cites Aylen J., Manchester University (2011) Costing UK Wildfires, presented at Wildfire UK, 2011. The full author list was Aylen J. Cavan, G, and McMorrow J. (iii) Natural England produced a 'Be fire aware in the great outdoors' (www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/climateandenergy/climatechange/drought/wildfirefeature.aspx)
URL http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Document.aspx?Document=CCRASummaryBiodiversityandEcosystemServices.pdf
 
Description Knowledge for Wildfire
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/J500768/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2012 
End 10/2016
 
Description NERC Impact Accelerator Account
Amount £12,500 (GBP)
Funding ID NERC IAA 12 
Organisation University of Manchester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2015 
End 09/2015
 
Description PURE Associates
Amount £33,175 (GBP)
Funding ID PA13-035 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2013 
End 05/2014
 
Title Who does What database of UK fire researchers and interactive map 
Description A "Who does What' database of 75 UK and Irish-based fire researchers and interactive map was produced with funding from Manchester's NERC Impact Accelerator Account. The map and searchable Excel sheet signpost practitioners to relevant academics. Primary and secondary research interests, links to projects and contact details are listed for each person. It was produced after several cycles of consultation with researchers and the main client, the England and Wales Wildfire Forum. It is being used as a signposting resource to provide continuity now that the NERC KE Fellowship has ended. It is hosted on the Knowledge for Wildfire website and will also be available from the England and Wales Wildfire Forum website in due course. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Very positive feedback has been received both from practitioners and researchers. Researchers have commented on its value in promoting their work to end-users, and in facilitating potential new partnerships, including new peer-to-peer collaborations. It was used by the England and Wales Wildfire Forum to recruit people to the wildfire researchers' workshops in July 2017 and January 2018. 
URL http://kfwf.org.uk/researchersdatabase/
 
Description CFOA/EWWF/FRS/DCLG; spatial analysis of IRS data 
Organisation Chief Fire Officers Associaton (CFOA)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution GIS analysis of the Fire Services' Incident Recording System (IRS) data to evaluate suitability for defining wildfire and mapping UK wildfire regime. GPS recording of fire perimeters. Analysis of in-house FRS data on fires.
Collaborator Contribution Expert knowledge on how IRS data is collected; access to in-house databases and IRS data held by DCLG Fire Staistics section; access to incident reports; interviews on individual fire incidents; attendance at workshops; field visits to sites of recent fires; photographs of fires; feedback on mapping outputs.
Impact IRS-based criteria used to define wildfire in Scottish Government Fire Service Wildfire Operational Guidance (2013) http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/10/6118. Collaboration between geographers, economist and fire professionals.
Start Year 2011
 
Description CFOA/EWWF/FRS/DCLG; spatial analysis of IRS data 
Organisation England and Wales Wildfire Forum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution GIS analysis of the Fire Services' Incident Recording System (IRS) data to evaluate suitability for defining wildfire and mapping UK wildfire regime. GPS recording of fire perimeters. Analysis of in-house FRS data on fires.
Collaborator Contribution Expert knowledge on how IRS data is collected; access to in-house databases and IRS data held by DCLG Fire Staistics section; access to incident reports; interviews on individual fire incidents; attendance at workshops; field visits to sites of recent fires; photographs of fires; feedback on mapping outputs.
Impact IRS-based criteria used to define wildfire in Scottish Government Fire Service Wildfire Operational Guidance (2013) http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/10/6118. Collaboration between geographers, economist and fire professionals.
Start Year 2011
 
Description CFOA/EWWF/FRS/DCLG; spatial analysis of IRS data 
Organisation Government of the UK
Department Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution GIS analysis of the Fire Services' Incident Recording System (IRS) data to evaluate suitability for defining wildfire and mapping UK wildfire regime. GPS recording of fire perimeters. Analysis of in-house FRS data on fires.
Collaborator Contribution Expert knowledge on how IRS data is collected; access to in-house databases and IRS data held by DCLG Fire Staistics section; access to incident reports; interviews on individual fire incidents; attendance at workshops; field visits to sites of recent fires; photographs of fires; feedback on mapping outputs.
Impact IRS-based criteria used to define wildfire in Scottish Government Fire Service Wildfire Operational Guidance (2013) http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/10/6118. Collaboration between geographers, economist and fire professionals.
Start Year 2011
 
Description CFOA/EWWF/FRS/DCLG; spatial analysis of IRS data 
Organisation Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution GIS analysis of the Fire Services' Incident Recording System (IRS) data to evaluate suitability for defining wildfire and mapping UK wildfire regime. GPS recording of fire perimeters. Analysis of in-house FRS data on fires.
Collaborator Contribution Expert knowledge on how IRS data is collected; access to in-house databases and IRS data held by DCLG Fire Staistics section; access to incident reports; interviews on individual fire incidents; attendance at workshops; field visits to sites of recent fires; photographs of fires; feedback on mapping outputs.
Impact IRS-based criteria used to define wildfire in Scottish Government Fire Service Wildfire Operational Guidance (2013) http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/10/6118. Collaboration between geographers, economist and fire professionals.
Start Year 2011
 
Description CFOA/EWWF/FRS/DCLG; spatial analysis of IRS data 
Organisation Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution GIS analysis of the Fire Services' Incident Recording System (IRS) data to evaluate suitability for defining wildfire and mapping UK wildfire regime. GPS recording of fire perimeters. Analysis of in-house FRS data on fires.
Collaborator Contribution Expert knowledge on how IRS data is collected; access to in-house databases and IRS data held by DCLG Fire Staistics section; access to incident reports; interviews on individual fire incidents; attendance at workshops; field visits to sites of recent fires; photographs of fires; feedback on mapping outputs.
Impact IRS-based criteria used to define wildfire in Scottish Government Fire Service Wildfire Operational Guidance (2013) http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/10/6118. Collaboration between geographers, economist and fire professionals.
Start Year 2011
 
Description CFOA/EWWF/FRS/DCLG; spatial analysis of IRS data 
Organisation Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution GIS analysis of the Fire Services' Incident Recording System (IRS) data to evaluate suitability for defining wildfire and mapping UK wildfire regime. GPS recording of fire perimeters. Analysis of in-house FRS data on fires.
Collaborator Contribution Expert knowledge on how IRS data is collected; access to in-house databases and IRS data held by DCLG Fire Staistics section; access to incident reports; interviews on individual fire incidents; attendance at workshops; field visits to sites of recent fires; photographs of fires; feedback on mapping outputs.
Impact IRS-based criteria used to define wildfire in Scottish Government Fire Service Wildfire Operational Guidance (2013) http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/10/6118. Collaboration between geographers, economist and fire professionals.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Forestry Commisison (WTA etc) 
Organisation Forestry Commission
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We adapted the New Zealand Wildfire Threat Analysis (WTA) framework to suit the UK and at a local-scale for a 11x12 km area centred on Crowthorne Wood/Swinley Forest (Bracknell). A high profile crown fire occurred here in April-May 2011, which damaged 110 ha - the most resource-intensive fire in Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Services' history. We used a GIS-based approach known as Multi-Criteria Evaluation, guided by two stakeholder workshops to solicit expert opinion. Participating organisations included the Forestry Commission, the Crown Estates, Ministry of Defence, HM Highways Services, Natural England, Heathland Conservation Society, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, and Bracknell Forest Council. We successfully produce a risk of ignition map and a partial values at risk module. We have compiled a data catalogue of over 90 digital map layers and a report . A paper paper for peer-reviewed journals has been published, co-authored with Forestry Commission partners.
Collaborator Contribution The Forestry Commission ran a visit to the field area, assisted in data collation and provided access to GIS data. They generously gave staff time to work with us at the set-up meeting and the two workshops, and provided feedback on documents. They used their contacts to source data, notably from emergency planners at Bracknell Forest Council, the MoD and Crown Estates. They hosted visits and a longer study visit by the PDRA. Bracknell Forest Council provided the venue and catering for both workshops.
Impact Multi-disciplinary collaboration between geographers (McMorrow), forestry professionals (Gazzard, Morison, Moffat), economists (Aylen) and planners (Kazmierczak), The social capital generated from the project led to the Royal Society Phil. Trans. B paper on wildfire policy in England with Gazzard from the Forestry Commission (see Publications). Journal paper for professional forester readership (see Orcid, awaiting ResearchFish verification): McMorrow J.M., Kazmierczak, A., Aylen, J., Moffat, A.J., Morison, J.I.L. and Gazzard, R. (2021) Developing a risk assessment approach to forest fire at the rural-urban interface: potential of the Wildfire Threat Analysis framework for the UK. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, July 2021, vol 115 (3): 161-167. The methodology is being used in the current NERC grant NE/T003553/1, 'Toward a UK fire danger rating system: Understanding fuels, fire behaviour and impacts'; PI Dr Gareth Clay, with partners including the Forestry Commission, National Fire Chiefs Council, Met Office, England and Wales Wildfire Forum, Natural Resources Canada and Moors for the Future Partnership
Start Year 2014
 
Description Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) 
Organisation Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The KE Fellow worked with the former wildfire officer at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) from 2008. In May 2012, she gave an invited talk at a wildfire one day training conference which he organised as a CPD-accredited event for the Institution of Fire Engineers. In September 2012, a more formal collaboration was set up with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. . The KE Fellow ad a Manchester colleague presented to the Consultation, Research and Assurance Group. This resulted in a placement project for a part-time MSc student 2013 to work on 'A GIS approach to add value to GMFRS vegetation fire data'. He completed his dissertation in 2014 and wrote a user-facing report for them. He also presented a poster on the work at the Wildfires 2013 national conference in Glamorgan.
Collaborator Contribution The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service provided access to Incident Recording System data and their internal Information Management System data on vegetation fires. They hosted visits to the Swinton HQ to leatn about operational context of reporting and recording wildfires. They provided transport to meetings, conferences and training exercises with the local fire operations groups to which they belong (Peak District National Park and Lancashire). They arranged for the KE Fellow to attend debriefing sessions after fires in the Peak District National Park.
Impact MSc student project and dissertation. This student is now employed as a freelance environmental consultant, citing the experience as a great help to his CV. A report and conference poster. Provided very helpful insights into operational context for our risk mapping work Excellent working relationship.
Start Year 2012
 
Description National Trust High Peak Estate 
Organisation National Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution In 2012, the National Trust asked the KE Fellow to write expert consultant report on wildfire for their 50 year High Peak Moors Vision and Plan 2013-2038. It was part of an extensive stakeholder consultation process ahead of the change in agri-environment support from ESA to HLS for their tenancies. The question she was asked to address was 'What is the best way to manage the accidental fire risk on NT's High Peak moors?" She attended the launch of the Plan by the Trust's Director General, Dame Helen Ghosh on 20 Sep 2013 at Bamford Village Hall, followed by hands-on experience in heather restoration and a picnic in the Derwent valley.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of maps of the High Peak Estate and location of fires. Invitation to the launch event.
Impact The National Trust forwarded my report to Natural England, at their request. Their summary of the expert reports report took on board recommendations from the report produced by the KE Fellow, including: (i) the need for fire risk management plans as a priority (HPMVP consultation draft, 2012, p20); (ii) the importance of rewetting restoration to improve ecosystem resilience to wildfire; and (iii) the role of prescribed burning in fuel management, despite NT's (still contentious) goal of phasing out prescribed burning in the High Peak estate: 'We're keen to continue the ambitious programme of work to rewet and revegetate the bog to make it a better carbon store, better for water quality, better for wildlife and more resilient to wildfire. Burning will be removed from blanket bog, where it is thought to be damaging, unless it is required for fire risk management (National Trust, HPMVP, Consultation Draft, 2012, p4) NT's final report (2013, p11) recognised the importance of managing wildfire risk: 'As we shift away from traditional heather management we'll make reducing the risk of wildfire a key focus of our work'.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Peak District National Park wildfire risk management 
Organisation Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution 2004-2006; Report and GIS-based wildfire risk map for allocation of fire prevention and fire fighting resources. 2005-2010; Forecasting model to estimate probability of a fire outbreak from historic weather and fire data. 2014-2015; Advice on combining the wildfire risk map and forecasting model for an interactive public fire awareness, exhibit, formerly located at the National Park's Edale and Fairholmes visitor's centres, which typically attract over 80,000 visitors a year (see Software and Technical Products). 2015-present: See update under ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Event, workshop or similar: Peak District National Park updating wildfire risk map;
Collaborator Contribution Access to rangers' fire log (database of fire occurrences in PDNP, maintained since 1976); access to MFF's spatial data on environmental variables and ecosystem services; GPS data on fire perimeters; expert advice (interviews, attendance at workshops, speaking at seminars); hosting us at Fire Operations group (FOG) training exercises; etc.
Impact PDNP wildfire risk map used to site fire ponds and fire patrols -- See update under ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Event, workshop or similar: Peak District National Park updating wildfire risk map; Improved reporting proforma for rangers fire log; Co-produced MFF Research Note on mapping and modelling moorland wildfire; PDNP wildfire forecasting model; Interactive public fire awareness exhibit for visitor's centre.
 
Description Peak District National Park wildfire risk management 
Organisation Moors for the Future Partnership (MFF)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution 2004-2006; Report and GIS-based wildfire risk map for allocation of fire prevention and fire fighting resources. 2005-2010; Forecasting model to estimate probability of a fire outbreak from historic weather and fire data. 2014-2015; Advice on combining the wildfire risk map and forecasting model for an interactive public fire awareness, exhibit, formerly located at the National Park's Edale and Fairholmes visitor's centres, which typically attract over 80,000 visitors a year (see Software and Technical Products). 2015-present: See update under ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Event, workshop or similar: Peak District National Park updating wildfire risk map;
Collaborator Contribution Access to rangers' fire log (database of fire occurrences in PDNP, maintained since 1976); access to MFF's spatial data on environmental variables and ecosystem services; GPS data on fire perimeters; expert advice (interviews, attendance at workshops, speaking at seminars); hosting us at Fire Operations group (FOG) training exercises; etc.
Impact PDNP wildfire risk map used to site fire ponds and fire patrols -- See update under ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Event, workshop or similar: Peak District National Park updating wildfire risk map; Improved reporting proforma for rangers fire log; Co-produced MFF Research Note on mapping and modelling moorland wildfire; PDNP wildfire forecasting model; Interactive public fire awareness exhibit for visitor's centre.
 
Description Peak District National Park wildfire risk management 
Organisation Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution 2004-2006; Report and GIS-based wildfire risk map for allocation of fire prevention and fire fighting resources. 2005-2010; Forecasting model to estimate probability of a fire outbreak from historic weather and fire data. 2014-2015; Advice on combining the wildfire risk map and forecasting model for an interactive public fire awareness, exhibit, formerly located at the National Park's Edale and Fairholmes visitor's centres, which typically attract over 80,000 visitors a year (see Software and Technical Products). 2015-present: See update under ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Event, workshop or similar: Peak District National Park updating wildfire risk map;
Collaborator Contribution Access to rangers' fire log (database of fire occurrences in PDNP, maintained since 1976); access to MFF's spatial data on environmental variables and ecosystem services; GPS data on fire perimeters; expert advice (interviews, attendance at workshops, speaking at seminars); hosting us at Fire Operations group (FOG) training exercises; etc.
Impact PDNP wildfire risk map used to site fire ponds and fire patrols -- See update under ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Event, workshop or similar: Peak District National Park updating wildfire risk map; Improved reporting proforma for rangers fire log; Co-produced MFF Research Note on mapping and modelling moorland wildfire; PDNP wildfire forecasting model; Interactive public fire awareness exhibit for visitor's centre.
 
Description Peak District National Park wildfire risk management 
Organisation Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution 2004-2006; Report and GIS-based wildfire risk map for allocation of fire prevention and fire fighting resources. 2005-2010; Forecasting model to estimate probability of a fire outbreak from historic weather and fire data. 2014-2015; Advice on combining the wildfire risk map and forecasting model for an interactive public fire awareness, exhibit, formerly located at the National Park's Edale and Fairholmes visitor's centres, which typically attract over 80,000 visitors a year (see Software and Technical Products). 2015-present: See update under ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Event, workshop or similar: Peak District National Park updating wildfire risk map;
Collaborator Contribution Access to rangers' fire log (database of fire occurrences in PDNP, maintained since 1976); access to MFF's spatial data on environmental variables and ecosystem services; GPS data on fire perimeters; expert advice (interviews, attendance at workshops, speaking at seminars); hosting us at Fire Operations group (FOG) training exercises; etc.
Impact PDNP wildfire risk map used to site fire ponds and fire patrols -- See update under ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Event, workshop or similar: Peak District National Park updating wildfire risk map; Improved reporting proforma for rangers fire log; Co-produced MFF Research Note on mapping and modelling moorland wildfire; PDNP wildfire forecasting model; Interactive public fire awareness exhibit for visitor's centre.
 
Title Be Fire Aware visitor centre interactive resource 
Description The Peak District National Park's Moors for the Future Partnership (MfFP) commissioned a software company (Wide Sky designs) to develop an interactive, innovative real-time fire risk tool, designed to show visitors of all ages the risk and consequences of accidental wildfires. At MfFP's invitation, the KE Fellow advised the software developers since the exhibit was to be based on published research carried out by her and colleagues at Manchester. The interactive tool combined their spatial and temporal models; a GIS fire risk map showed where risk was highest, and a fire forecast model showed how this changes over time with the weather. Wildfire research and management have developed hand-in-hand in the Peak District - the unique wildfire database maintained by the Peak District Fire Operations Group since 1976 was the starting point for both the mapping and forecasting research. The forecast model was driven by live data from a weather station at Edale's Moorland Centre, where the resource was formerly installed. Visitors could see when and where the risk of moorland fires was highest. It also allowed them to explore fire risk history across the moors back to 2003. The project was was funded by the European Union MoorLIFE project. The KE Fellow co-wrote an article with Debra Wilson of MfFP for Fire Times (2014), a user-facing publication for fire professionals. For further information see the 2014 press release and news item on the KfWf website (http://www.kfwf.org.uk/_assets/documents/Fire_Aware.pdf) and MoorLIFE Final Dissemination Activities Report Aug 2015, pp18-19, available from URL below. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Speaking for Moors for the Future Partnership in 2015, Debra Wilson said; "This real-time educational tool is the first of its kind in the UK in combining weather and geographical data to give an immediate picture of the relative fire risk across the moors. Aimed at visitors to the Peak District, the fire risk maps have been installed in the Edale and Fairholmes visitor centres, which attract over 80,000 visitors a year." It is making the science accessible to visitors of all ages, and ultimately to helping reduce the number moorland wildfires. The Edale exhibit received an enthusiastic response at the launch for school children in July 2015. It is no longer on display due to pressure on space. 
URL http://www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/87613/MoorLIFE-Final-DisseminationAc...
 
Title EnviroSAR 
Description EnviroSAR was developed from part-time PhD research by Gail Millin-Chalabi, which I co-supervised at the University of Manchester, 2012-2015 (Millin-Chalabi et al, 2014). Gail used her research to develop a proposal called EnviroSAR, which won the Copernicus Sustainable Living Challenge 2016 for its commercial potential to be the UK's first wildfire mapping tool. The team were also runners-up of the overall Copernicus European-wide competition. KfWf supported the team by helping to obtain support in kind from Fire Services, water companies and the England and Wales Wildfire Forum, and advising on the writing the application. In this sense it is a spin-off from the KE Fellowship. The University of Manchester Intellectual Property management service advised the project, with support from the School of Environment, Education and Development. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact EnviroSAR team use Copernicus development funding, in-kind support and mentoring from the UK Satellite Catapult to develop a web geoportal to assist Fire Services, water companies and conservation bodies to map and monitor wildfire burn scars, especially in peat moorlands. Mapping is not routinely done by Fire Services and is only available for a small proportion of UK National Parks, yet clean-up of water discoloration costs water companies millions of pounds. The technique uses radar intensity and coherence to map the perimeter of moorland wildfires. It can also monitor their persistence to assess natural regrowth of vegetation and the success of ecological restoration. Because uses C-band radar images are used, it is ideally suited to exploit the new European Space Agency Sentinel products. A spin-out company was set up in 2017 (see Spin outs; EnviroSAR). EnviroSAR established a technical partnership with Sterling Geo, a market-leader in geospatial data and services. Sterling Geo intend to co-develop a geoportal infrastructure to combine remotely sensed images and maps with photographs and other user ground data on wildfire burn scars. The Peak District National Park Authority Moors for the Future Partnership provided ground data for a user case study. 
URL http://www.envirosar.com/
 
Description Peak District National Park updating wildfire risk map 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact ACTIVITY AND PURPOSE: Discussions with Moors for the Future Partnership (MfFP) on priorities for wildfire research and monitoring for the South Pennines Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for the MoorLIFE 2020 programme (5-year, 16 million Euro EU LIFE project).

Follow-up meeting in March 2019 to advise on development of two specific tools; (i) updating the moorland wildfire risk map of the Peak District National Park based on 1976-2004 fire records which we produced in 2006 with a small grant from MfFP (http://www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/1424332/Modelling-the-spatial-risk-of-Moorland-wildfire,-University-of-Manchester-Report.pdf). It is still used by the Fire Operations group to plan preventative management. Updates will incorporate the effect on fire activity of subsequent ecological restoration undertaken by MfFP. (ii) data sources for the online wildfire spatial database currently being developed for MoorLIFE 2020; http://www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk/our-work/our-projects/moorlife2020/moorlife2020-research-and-monitoring/wildfire-database.

OUTCOME: positive feedback but too early to say. Jointly drafted a staged plan jointly drafted to update the risk map.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017,2018,2019
URL http://www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk/our-work/our-projects/moorlife2020
 
Description IAWF Human Dimesions 2015 conference (Idaho) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I presented a paper on the wildfire threat analysis research undertaken with the Forestry Commission and funded by NERC PURE Associates. l also presented a poster on my Knowledge for Wildfire KE fellowship project. The aim was to get feedback on both from this international audience. The Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire conference, held every two years, is unique in bringing together social and environmental scientists, fire fighters, state and federal decision-makers and KE experts. This year it was held jointly with the International Wildland Fire Safety conference. I was therefore able to broaden my network, especially to those working on fire risk in the wildland-urban interface, and US-based KE (outreach) projects such FRAMES, Lessons Learned, and Joint Science Programme initiatives. I was invited to visit Scion (the New Zealand forest research agency) during my sabbatical in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://inawf.memberclicks.net/upcoming-conferences
 
Description Knowledge for Wildfire (KfWF) website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Knowledge for Wildfire website, www.kfwf.org.uk, has been run as part of my NERC KE fellowship since February 2013. The format was based on a desk study of other KE websites. It is designed to be interoperable on mobile devices. The Our Network tab includes information on who we are, what we do and who we work with and how NERC science can help. The Resources pages contains Briefing papers and reports, Publications, Presentations and posters, Useful links and a Gallery. There is a News and Events page where forthcoming conferences and reports form events are posted. We also run a Twitter account, @kfwf_Manchester and produce or re-tweet 'storify' collations of tweets from events such as the Royal Society's Interaction of Fire and Mankind workshop. The website is prominently cited in the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies 2017 as a source of further information on wildfire knowledge exchange.

The latest addition is the Who does What database of UK and Irish-based fire researchers and interactive map. It was produced with funding from Manchester's NERC IAA (see Software and technical products; databases).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016
URL http://www.kfwf.org.uk
 
Description Lancashire Fire Operations group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service to present a talk on mapping fire risk at the set-up meeting of the Lancashire Fire Operations group. The invitation arose after a presentation I gave at Wildfire 2011 on mapping the spring 2011 UK fires. I was able to offer an MSc student an Applied Project placemen to carry out e spatial analysis of IRS fire statistics for Lancashire. We used his work in the slides and he came with me to present. He was able to use the work as a case study for his MSc dissertation. He now works for an environmental consultancy and has said that the experience he gained was a strong factor in getting the job. The Fire Group are keen to set up more student projects.

I was invited to be part of the Lancashire Fire group and have attended training exercises with them. I also took part in a short live news broadcast for radio Lancashire during one of these exercises. I still receive the agenda and attend when I can.

The contacts made with members have widened the KfWf network, as the group members include planners, DEFRA, Natural England, RSPB, United Utilities, Bolton Mountain Rescue, Morecambe Bay Search and Rescue, Peel Energy (wind farms) and Wildlife Trusts. Members have attended the KfWf Wildfire at Manchester seminars.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL https://www.boltonmrt.org.uk/2012/03/28/team-attends-inaugural-meeting-of-lancashire-fire-operations...
 
Description MoorLIFE conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Joint paper with Debra Wilson of Moors for the Future Partnership on 'Be Fire Aware; raising public awsreness of moorland wldfire risk', Inegrated Approach to Upland Biodiversity Conservation, MoorLIFE conference, Dean Clough, Halifax, 2-4 March 2015. The paper described the interactive resource on moorland wildfire risk, commissioned by Debra with EU LIFE programme funding and based on published research I had conducted on mapping and forecasting wildfire risk (see Software and Technical Products). There was a lively debate afterwards about public awareness of moorland wildfire risk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk/node/698
 
Description Swinley Forest Fire seminar and workshop (10/04/15, Greenwich) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I helped to organise this free one-day workshop on 'Wildfire research and its impact on Policy, Planning and Operations: The Swinley Forest Fire'. The aim was to disseminate research on the highly significant Swinley Forest Fire which occurred in May 2011 and to define policy, planning and operational outcomes from it. It included our NERC PURE research on wildfire that analysis of the Swinley forest-urban interface with other RCUK-funded work on the area by Kings College London and Greenwich University. It was jointly funded by the Forestry Commission England, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Bracknell Forest Council, Knowledge for Wildfire (NERC/University of Manchester), FIREfficient (EU/Kings College London) and Greenwich University. The event brought together some 60 participants from the emergency services, emergency planners, development planners, landowners/regulators and academics. Policy-makers had agreed to take part in the expert panel, but purdah preceding the General Election meant they had to cancel. The evaluation forms suggest that we were raising awareness of a new audience, notably emergency planners and development planners. Ten key points were developed from the practitioner panel and audience discussion in the afternoon, and were later presented to a wider audience at the Wildfire 2015 conference in Glasgow in November 2015. Papers and a report are available on the Presentations and News pages respectively of the KfWf website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.Kfwf.org.uk/resources/presentations
 
Description Three wildfire@manchester seminars 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Three seminars of 3 - 4 hours duration (Feb 2013, June 2013, June 2014, each with a keynote academic speaker and two or more professional practitioners as appointed discussants (e.g. from the Fire Service, private land management community, third sector conservation organisation, Forestry Commission, etc.), followed by discussion from the floor and a networking event. The intended purpose is to communicate wildfire science and actively engage practitioners in formal and informal discussion. Each was attended by between 35 and 50 people. Evaluation forms from each event show a high degree of satisfaction with the format and content, and reported changes in attitude. A report on the event is written and put on the Knowledge for wildfire website (www.kfwf.org.uk) along with the presentation slides. A direct spin-off has been funding applications by colleagues at Manchester to develop a wildfire geoportal in partnership with local Fire services and water companies; for example to the Copernicus Masters Challenge; Innovate UK's SBRI scheme; and one in preparation for a Leverhulme award. This arose from a knowledge gap identified during the discussion at the second event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
URL http://kfwf.org.uk/newsevents/
 
Description Two PURE Associates Wildfire Threat Analysis workshops (grant PA13-035) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Two stakeholder workshops were run in February and April 2014 to solicit expert opinion for the wildfire threat analysis (WTA) of the Swinley Forest rural-urban interface. Each had a cohort of 15-20 people from a variety of sectors. The workshops were an integral part of the WTA methodology. We also carried out one-to-one and small sector-based meetings to evaluate the deliverables. The work was funded by NERC's PURE Associate programme. Our primary partner was Forestry Commission England, who are interested in taking it forward at a coarser, regional scale. Dorset County Council intend to implement a WTA for Wild Purbeck NIA.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://kfwf.org.uk/_assets/documents/Wildfire_Threat_Analysis_post-project_report.pdf
 
Description UK Wildfire Research Group workshops, 6 meetings 2017 to present 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact ACTIVITY: Rob Gazzard (Forestry Commission) and the KE Fellow organised the first of a series of workshops on 7th June 2017 at Kings College (KCL) London to bring together key end-users with wildfire researchers from across the UK and beyond. It built on the network established during KfWf . In total 21 researchers from academia and the wildfire practitioner sector attended, representing many UK institutions and two from the USA. The KE fellow presented a paper on the UK wildfire research landscape. Four more face-to-face and three online meetings have followed so far.
INTENDED PURPOSE: to continue engagement between end-users and researchers post-KfWf award, and especially to agree joint strategic research priorities.
OUTCOMES:
(i) A summary of the first meeting presented to the England and Wales Wildfire Forum for feedback;
(ii) A second meeting on 10th Jan 2018 to incorporate the feedback, operationalise a proposed research programme for a UK Fire Danger Rating System (FDRS), and to widen the discussion on other wildfire topics. It was attended by some 20 researchers (mainly NERC-related) and representatives from the two wildfire forums and the Fire Service. Wildfire is intrinisically interdisciplinary, so we also need to engage with social scientists and physical science researchers.
(iii) Opportunistic fieldwork to record burn severity during the 'Saddleworth Moor' fire thanks to research collaborations begun within the Group, both between researchers and between researchers and end-users. The Fire and Rescue Service Wildfire Tactical Adviser in the Group understood the need to record surface condition immediately post-fire, so helped the team obtain permission to access the site during the smouldering combustion phase at a time when when engagement with researchers would not normally be encouraged. The team reciprocated by advising the land owner on mitigation measures.
(iv) A NERC Highlight Topic was submitted in March 2018 and a GBP 2.5 million grant has been funded, NE/T003553/; 'Toward a UK fire danger rating system: understanding fuels, fire behaviour and impacts'. The award arises directly from these workshops.
(v) A third horizon-scanning meeting on 20 Feb 2019 was very well-attended and included new researchers and end-users (Home Office, Defra, Met Office, etc), and similarly in November 2019, after the UK Wildfire conference. Meetings have continued online in November 2020 and February 2021, and the group continues to attract new researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019,2020,2021
URL http://www.kfwf.org.uk/newsevents/index.htm#itemthirtyfive
 
Description Wildfire 2013 and 2015 UK stakeholder conferences 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The main UK stakeholder conference on wildfire, held every two years; 2013 in Glamorgan, and in 2015 at the Scottish Fire Service HQ in Cambuslang, Glasgow. Its aim is to communicate good practice in wildfire management from the UK and overseas (e.g. USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Eire). It attracts fire professionals, other practitioners and policy people from many different sectors, as well as established and early career researchers.
I organised a poster session at both conferences, having introduced one at the 2011 conference. I prioritise early career researchers and offer small bursaries in return for presenting a poster and writing a short reflective report on the experience. Being on the organising committee has allowed me to widen the number and range of contributions from researchers and to negotiate a reduced fee for presenters to make the event accessible to academics. My aim is engage more academics and especially to build capacity for future KE by involving early career researchers.
At the 2013 conference, I presented a paper on my NERC KE Fellowship activities and mentored one of my MSc students to present a poster on his GIS analysis of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's fire statistics. His poster attracted very positive discussion and he has since produced a user-facing report for GMFRS.
At the 2015 conference, I was involved in eight different papers: (i) Co-presented an oral paper with CFOA and Forestry Commission England on our mapping work. This lead to an invitation from the Irish Dept of Agriculture and Forestry and the Mountain of Mourne Heritage Trust to participate in a cross-border workshop on best wildfire geolocation and mapping in Dundalk in March 2016. (ii) Helped to run a workshop on stakeholder priorities for wildfire management in the rural-urban interface (linked to the NERC PURE Associated project on wildfire threat analysis with the Forestry Commission England). The top 3 priorities will be presented at the England and Wales Wildfire and Scottish Wildfire Forums as a mandate from the wildfire community in negotiations with Government. (iii) Mentored 3 MSc students to present posters of their dissertation work, levering funding from the School towards their costs. The posters will be available online from the KfWf website. They received a lot of interest and helpful feedback. One student was invited to present his work a meeting of a new Fire Group in Lancashire, with a view to developing collaborative work. (iv) We presented a poster to launch the online 'Who does What' database and interactive map of UK vegetation fire researchers, developed with NERC-IAA funding as a signposting resource for he England and Wales Wildfire Forum. Again, the feedback from both practitioners and researchers was very encouraging. (v) Co-authored a poster and paper with Manchester colleagues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2015
URL http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/wildfires/2015-uk-wildfire-conference-presentations.aspx
 
Description Wildfire 2017 conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Over 150 delegates from the UK, Europe, Canada, USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand shared their knowledge and best practice in promoting wildfire resilience at this biennial conference, organised by Dorset County Council, the England and Wales Wildfire Forum and the Scottish Wildfire Forum. The KE Fellow was a member of the organising committee and presented an oral paper. The audience was the usual strong blend of practitioners and researchers, this time with an even more international flavour and young demographic. The KfWf network and researcher database was important in attracting good attendance by researchers. Talks and lively discussions were captured in real-time as cartoon sketches by a commercial graphic recording artist. A key outcome was the booklet produced by the workshop facilitators and the graphic recorder, which has been very well received as an accessible, user-facing summary of the key issues for UK wildfire resilience. Another key feature was the poster session, with many new faces and an even wider range of vegetation fire topics than in 2015; there was a real buzz as young researchers discussed their work with international practitioners. Thanks to the NERC Fellowship, this capacity-building activity and the number of UK-focused fire research groups has gone from strength to strength. A tangible outcome is our UK wildfire researchers group who are working with the two wildfire forums to develop the research agenda and joint proposals for NERC funding. The Fellowship has contributed to the success of these biennial Wildfire conferences, putting UK wildfire firmly on the map; raising international awareness of the wildfire issue (as evidenced by the increasing international conference registrations) and promoting international knowledge exchange, not just between researchers, or between practitioners, but critically between researchers and practitioners. The conference booklet, and papers and poster abstracts are available from the conference website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/uk-wildfire-conference