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Research proves to be hot stuff.

FIELD research carried out in Northumberland over the summer gathered much needed data that will help to predict how wildfires will spread in peat land and bog.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, Northumberland National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission helped researchers from the Netherlands and the USA to gather the data.

The research project determined how quickly different areas of peat land and bog took to burn and how different types and amounts of vegetation would affect how a wildfire might burn and spread over peat land.

This research will help firefighters reliably predict where fires will spread and where the fires can be safely and effectively extinguished.

Peat fires are one of the hardest types of wildfire to extinguish as a peat fire can smoulder underground with almost no indication of where the fire is, or how intense it is.

The field research provided existing wildfire prediction models with much needed information on peat land vegetation and addressed the knowledge gap in these models.

Chief fire officer Alex Bennett said: "The research gathered in Northumberland will be invaluable to firefighters in Northumberland and across the world. Peat fires are particularly challenging for firefighters as they can burn underground for days or even weeks, emerging at the surface at various points, becoming difficult to control. We have attended fewer wildfires this year compared to previous years, but as happens every year we have still attended some significant wildfire incidents."

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 16, 2014
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