In July 2018, a heatwave across the United Kingdom lead to record breaking wildfires. They burned across heathlands in the south and moors packed with deep peat in the midlands. Two podcasts by BBC Radio 4’s Open Country explore the impacts of these fires immediately following, and again 6 months later. They are both 25-minute podcasts but well worth a listen.
The July episode, recorded just after wildfires burned north of Manchester near Saddleworth and at Winter Hill, asked, “what impact the huge moorland fires near have had on the landscape and the wildlife of the area.” The episode interviews folks on the ground about how long will it take the ecosystem to recover and what this means for future fire risk.
Six months later, an episode returned to Winter Hill to explore how the fragile ecosystem and wildlife are starting to recover. This also includes reflections from people who utilize the lands for grazing and who live around them.
During those fires, Shaun Walton, Group Manager for the Pennine Area with the Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service, shared with me that, “fires on forested lands, upland and lowland heaths and moors involving peat that are carbon rich, burn requiring little oxygen underground for several weeks.”
This is a growing wildfire challenge in the UK. NFPA is pleased to be working with valued groups on advancing resident education around these risks and structural protection.