Fires are costly to fight, damage eco-systems, harm water catchments, cause erosion scars and disrupt transport. Intense fires may cause peat to ignite. Peat is a huge carbon store. Reducing the risk of fire and deployment of fire fighting resources are key issues. Climate changes are likely to bring more frequent wildfires.Fire risk varies markedly by time of year, time of week and time of day. Fires often develop towards the end of the day, so there is limited time to fight them before darkness sets in. Fire outbreaks are influenced by vegetation and moisture levels, moorland or heathland management and proximity to roads and footpaths. Wildfires are sporadic, often in remote locations and require specialised equipment. The paper identifies costs of wildfires, from the point of view of suppression by fire services and from society’s point of view given the damage to ecosystems. Costs vary according to the type and location of fire. Lowland heath fires or crop fires can also damage adjacent property. Upland fires may damage water catchments. Establishing the cost of wildfires allows effective risk planning to take place.