Wildfire Prevention Toolkit

This toolkit has been written and compiled by Alan Clark, retired Area Commander from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, on behalf of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Wildfire Group. It provides information and a range of tools to help fire and rescue services and other key stakeholders and partner agencies to prevent and reduce the impact of wildfires.

Wildfires pose a significant risk to the safety of firefighters, and to members of the public. They are a growing problem in the UK, and have a huge impact on property, infrastructure, the environment, and the economy.

The National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) are working nationally to ensure the UK’s response to wildfire preparation has a structured and holistic approach. The key focus of this work is to emphasise and promote close partnership with all key stakeholders.

The Wildfire Prevention Toolkit represents a collection of the best practice available around the world.

If you would like to find out more about the toolkit, please contact Robert Stacey via email at robert.stacey@northumberland.gov.uk.

The Toolkit is divided into chapters which can be downloaded and viewed separately below:
There is a growing problem with wildfires in the UK. This problem is worsened by the lack of awareness of the hazards these incidents pose to the safety of communities, individuals and firefighters.

While there are organisations that are aware of the risks posed by wildfires, and have effective solutions in place to deal with these incidents, wildfires are a national problem.  Currently, there is no agreed framework for sharing literature and information to help those that want to learn how to manage wildfire risk more effectively.

The problems Fire and Rescue Services and local communities face are compounded by the fact that wildfires can be sporadic. The frequency of wildfires depends on weather conditions, land use, and time of year.

If you live or work in a part of the UK that has not yet experienced a wildfire, it does not mean that the problem will not exist at some time in the future. For this reason, it is important to have an effective partnership framework in which to operate and deliver it.

The Wildfire Prevention Toolkit therefore has two key strategic aims:
  1. To provide a toolkit of wildfire prevention activities that can be used, dependent upon the available resources within each Fire Service, partnership or organisation.
  2. To encourage Fire and Rescue Services to form effective partnerships to ensure the optimal delivery of prevention initiatives prior to any wildfire occurring.
Please click here to download Chapter 1.
Chapter two of the Toolkit ensures that there is a common understanding of the risk of wildfires, and terminology that is relevant to the UK. Agreed terminology is therefore important, and the wrong terminology could undermine preventative efforts.

The terms and concepts explained within this chapter include:
  • Rural Urban Interface (RUI)
  • Interface
  • Intermix
  • Ground fires
  • Surface fires
  • Near surface/Elevated fires
  • Aerial fires
  • Direct flame
  • Ember threat
Please click here to download Chapter 2.
Most wildfires in the UK originate from human activity. These will either be leisure activities or deliberate acts and, more often than not, will be carried out by people unaware of the risks associated with wildfires.

Educating individuals, organisations, and communities about the risks of wildfires can help people to understand how certain behaviour may contribute to the widespread problem.

This chapter contains examples of good practice in wildfire education from both the UK and overseas. Whilst it is not exhaustive, this chapter is intended as a starting point for effective education to be provided.

Please click here to download Chapter 3.
This chapter of the toolkit presents and discusses some of the actions that Fire and Rescue Services (and their partners) can take to stop outdoor fires occurring, and to stop wildfires developing at high risk times of the year and in high risk locations. 

The prevention activities presented within this chapter are designed to be used by Fire and Rescue Services, land managers, land owners and local communities. 

Please click here to download Chapter 4.
reparedness is ‘the state of being ready’. Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) are prepared for every day responses such as property fires or road traffic collisions. Training for this type of incident is carried out on a regular basis, in conjunction with emergency service partners.

This approach is not always adopted as rigorously in relation to wildfires. This is because a wider concept of preparedness is required, where not only NFRS and other emergency services are involved, but also the communities who are identified as being at risk.

This chapter explores not only how emergency services can prepare for wildfires, but also how local partners and communities can be ready. NFRS do provide support, but this is not necessarily with day-to-day involvement.

Please click here to download Chapter 5.
A common understanding of terminology and definitions is essential in order to design and implement effective wildfire prevention activities.

This chapter presents a list of terms and associated definitions that have been used throughout the toolkit.

Please click here to download Chapter 6.
A number of individuals and organisations have supported the creation of this toolkit.

This chapter acknowledges and thanks all of those who have provided assistance in reading through drafts and/or contributing resources and materials for inclusion within the toolkit. 

Please click here to download Chapter 7.