Fire Group – Northumberland
The Northumberland Fire Group is an assemblage of public and private sectors to tackle the increasing threat of large wildfires in rural parts of Northumberland. Members of the group include landowners, land agents, public sector bodies, farmers and in fact anyone with an interest in wildfire. Northwoods put together a plan for the creation of the Fire Group and then set about the long and complicated task of assembling the funding package to make the project work; the Group has now been running for more than five years.
The support of key public sector bodies, including Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, the MoD, Northumberland National Park and the Forestry Commission, were vital in demonstrating to the private sector that this was a serious initiative, and one which would bring real benefits. There has been buy-in from most of the large and many of the small estates in the county, and the chairman also represents the Northern Farmers and Landowners Group.
The group quickly delivered real benefits on the ground, with a test of its new networks and techniques coming early on with the major fire at Harbottle in April 2007. This fire was one of the most intense wildfire in the UK in recent memory, and the speed with which it was brought under control was a testament to the skills of the fire service and the public and private sector members of the group working in partnership. Since then the Group has helped facilitate Basic Wildfire Training Courses and Burning Workshops.
If you are a Northumberland land owner or manager you could benefit from fire group membership! Get in touch with Ben Scotting.
EuroFire Training Project: The EuroFire project ran from 2006-2008, delivered by 3 project partners including RDI in the UK. The aim was to bring together international experience and expertise to develop a competency based training system for wildfire and prescribed fire management. Information and resources including training concepts, competency standards and training modules are available on the project website. EuroFire was funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci programme.