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Woodland Fires

The Home Office and Devolved Administrations produce estimates of the number and area of wildfires each year, using data recorded by Fire and Rescue Services using the Incident Reporting System.  These figures were previously produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

By analysing the wildfire data with the National Forest Inventory woodland map, it has been possible to produce estimates of fires that occur within woodlands in Great Britain.

Table 5.2a shows the number of woodland fires in 2010-11 to 2016-17.  There has been some fluctuation in the number of woodland fires in Great Britain over this period, with a high of around 9 thousand fires in 2011-12 and a low of around 2,500 in 2012-13. Most fires occurred in England.

The total number of woodland fires in Great Britain in 2016-17 (around 4,200) represents 4% of the total of around 119,000 outdoor fires in Great Britain in 2016-17 (Home Office, Welsh Government, Scottish Government).

Table 5.2a Number of woodland fires

Financial year England Wales Scotland GB
2010-11 6182  618 1186 7986
2011-12 7238 620 1059 8917
2012-13 1794 176 484 2454
2013-14 3899 383 776 5058
2014-15 2360 288 490 3138
2015-16 3333 345 1389 5067
2016-17 2570 193 1423 4186

Source: Fire & Rescue Service Incident Recording System, National Forest Inventory.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics.  For further information see the Sources chapter.

    

Table 5.2b shows the area covered by woodland fires between 2010-11 and 2016-17. There was a peak of around 8,700 hectares burnt in 2011-12, with the vast majority of this area occurring in Scotland.

Around 800 hectares of woodland in Great Britain were burnt in 2016-17.

Table 5.2b Area of woodland fires

Financial year England Wales Scotland GB
hectares        
2010-11 979 167 129 1276
2011-12 278 416 7982 8675
2012-13 48 107 268 423
2013-14 101 1089 318 1508
2014-15 81 38 762 881
2015-16 117 757 536 1410
2016-17 29 93 682 804

Source: Fire & Rescue Service Incident Recording System, National Forest Inventory.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics.  For further information see the Sources chapter.

Additional resources

Sources chapter: Environment

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