Wildfires can have devastating impacts for people, property, industry, infrastructure, and the environment. Wildfires in forests make up a small proportion of all incidents, and often originate outside the forest boundary, but their impacts can be disproportionately large and costly to forest owners, society and the environment.
Wildfire hazards and risks related to new and existing woodland can be reduced with good practice in forest planning. Wildfire prevention work, including good forest planning, can reduce the likelihood of wildfires occurring, small incidents escalating into large incidents, and the severity of damage and impacts if they do occur. Planning and preparation can aid fire suppression and minimise response times.
The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) advises that managers should plan for forest resilience whilst considering the risks to the woodland, and specifically the risk from fire. Further detailed guidance is provided in Forestry Commission (2014) Practice Guide 22: Building Wildfire Resilience into Forest Management Planning. This Information Note supports forest owners, planners, and managers in Scotland to implement this guidance in a Scottish context, to understand the wildfire risk to the forests they manage, and how to reduce this risk through good practice in forest design and planning.