People in the UK didn’t have to worry about wildfires too much in the past.
But the following UK wildfire statistics show the country needs to understand and deal with these devastating natural events.
UK Wildfire Statistics & Facts
- The first seven months of 2022 had 442 wildfires in England and Wales which is a lot higher compared to the 247 in the whole of 2021. (NFCC)
- The last major government study found that the Fire and Rescue Services attended almost 260,000 wildfire incidents between 2009 and 2017 in England alone. (Forestry Commission England)
- The National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies, which provides information about civil emergencies, only added wildfires to its list in 2012 as incidents became more common. (NRR)
- On July 19th, 2022, the fire weather index, which calculates the risk of extreme fires, was at the highest level in the UK since records began in 1979. (City Monitor)
- The Moray wildfire in northern Scotland in 2019 destroyed over 25 square miles of grassland and peat and had over 80 firefighters fighting it at its peak. (National Geographic)
- The annual cost of wildfires across the UK stands at £55 million, and the figure is growing as wildfires become more common. (The University of Manchester)
- Research suggests the economic impact of the two major wildfires in recent years, Saddleworth Moor and Winter Hill, could be as high as £21.1m. (Environmental Research Communications)
- Climate scientists at University Reading warned that wildfires could become more common in the UK by the end of the century, and the average number of high danger days could increase 3-4 times by the 2080s. (IOP Science)
- The majority of burnt land area (70%) in the UK is arable, grassland, mountain, heath and bog, and only around 5% of the burnt area is woodland. (Forestry Commission)
- Only 10-15% of wildfires happen on their own, and for the majority, human actions such as discarded cigarettes or disposable barbecues are the cause. (Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service)