I attended an excellent workshop on October 9 led by Rob Gazzard of the Forestry Commission England, along with members of the fire service in southern England, Nature England staffers, and a lead volunteer from the Heathland Conservation Society. Land managers and fire fighters alike shared knowledge and worked through a new "practice guide" or handbook on building wildfire resilience into forest management planning.
Statistics from Britain's fire incident reporting system show trends toward many more fires in vegetation that harm enviromental values, disrupt business and threaten lives and properties. The workshop walked us through fire behavior, mitigation strategies, and included a field visit with teams working on planning for a fictional community in a real-life setting.
Forward thinking and collaborative, UK land managers, conservation activists and fire fighters have come together in a positive way to start creating fire adapted communities. Check back on this blog for more to come!