UK Wildfire Conference coming to Belfast

The UK Wildfire Conference 2022, “The Human Dimension” is being jointly hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) on the 9th and 10th November in the Europa Hotel, Belfast.

The wildfire conference is held bi-annually across the UK and focusses on sharing knowledge about the threat to landscapes in the UK from wildfire. This year the emphasis of the conference will be the Human Dimension.

The conference will be looking at the role mankind plays in creating, managing and solving the wildfire problem, which is important to DAERA, NIFRS and stakeholders alike.

Dr Mark Hammond, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Wildfire Stakeholder Holder Forum said: “We are no stranger to wildfires in Northern Ireland.

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"The focus of this year’s conference highlights the role that humans have in creating and managing the wildfire problem.

“This conference will be a great opportunity for delegates to share and discuss a broad range of wildfire issues, how land management and human activity influences landscapes and wildfire risk, and how we influence these to help reduce incidence and impacts of wildfire, and build landscape resilience.

"This will be extremely important as we face up to the challenges that climate change brings to the wildfire debate.”

Area Commander Mark Smyth, NIFRS, said: “This conference is an opportunity to learn from each other and reflect on how humans contribute to the challenges wildfires bring but more importantly it’s also an opportunity to discuss how humans can play an important role in addressing wildfire issues.

“We have brought together a wide range of organisations and individuals, from first responders to land managers, academics to government departments, who are working on the many facets of the wildfire problem, including the role of human involvement.”

The programme includes keynote speakers from Australia, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Northern Ireland, providing important insight into the human side of the wildfire issue.

It was last held in Cardiff in 2019.