The huge moorland fires at Saddleworth and Winter Hill in northwest England have shown just how serious a problem wildfires can be in the UK. Now the fires are out, it is time to look at how such catastrophes can be prevented in the future and why this critical environmental issue needs to be on the political agenda.
Our research has shown how informal local and national partnerships helped keep the flames under some form of control and can reduce the risk of future fires on this scale. But the government needs to support these partnerships and see wildfire as more than a fire service problem. Climate change will make such fires more common so the country must be ready.