In 2007, whilst working for Forest Research, Andy Moffat gave a presentation at the ‘Wildfire 2007’ conference with Karl Kitchen from the Met Office entitled “Climate change and forest fires in the UK – possible impacts”. Of course this wasn’t the first time that a linkage between these two phenomena had been asserted, but it was one of the earliest to formalise the link for UK forest land management. Yesterday, the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology published a concise and convincing update of the subject as a POSTnote entitled “Climate Change and UK Wildfire”. This has been compiled by Lauren Shotter and Jonathan Wentworth from evidence provided by a range of stakeholders. Andy Moffat was delighted to be asked to be involved in this process and also to act as an External Reviewer of the Note.
The POSTnote can be downloaded HERE. Its main findings are that wildfires are becoming a significant hazard in the UK, almost certainly because climate change is increasing their frequency. It identifies that the responsibility for managing wildfire risk is shared between a number of government departments and other stakeholders, most importantly the land owners themselves. It concludes that better wildfire prevention could be achieved through landscape management.