Forest Fire

Locations & assessment:

  • North, north-west, north-east and east Scotland EXTREME Tuesday 7th April
  • East and north-east Scotland VERY HIGH Thursday 8th – Friday 9th April
  • North-east Scotland VERY HIGH Friday 10th April
  • Other areas MODERATE 7th April, this area expanding 8th – 10th

The overall fire danger assessment is:

  • Eastern Scotland – VERY HIGH Tuesday 7th – Wednesday 8th April.
  • All areas LOW when rain arrives Friday 10th – Saturday 11th.

Seasonal condition of the fuels:

Mid-April – at this time of year, still early spring, the seasonal condition of the fuels (vegetation) will be still reacting most to the combination of frost, warm dry weather and wind. There is a lot of dead grass and dead heather left over from last year, which can dry very quickly. Frost and sun can also reduce the live fuel moisture of heather. Overall these conditions can create very low moisture contents.

There has been rain and over the last month and the deeper fuel layers are still wet.

General weather forecast information:

A low pressure system is developing over the mid-Atlantic tracking up to Iceland. A frontal system will extend across Scotland from the north west, with heavy rain in the north-west by Wednesday. The rain will be light over central areas and there will be little rain in eastern areas. Tuesday looks to be bright, sunny, low humidity and strong and gusty south to south west winds. Winds will be still be strong westerlies Wednesday, becoming easterly and dropping on Thurs-Friday. Maximum mid-afternoon air temperature in eastern Scotland Wed-Thursday 14-15C, lower in west. Humidity levels drop to around 47 – 65% in easterly areas Wed-Thurs, gradually rising Fri. Significant rain is forecast for Friday and Saturday covering all parts of Scotland. As With all weather system there will be local variation.


The key issues over the rest of the week are the low relative humidity and high winds in eastern Scotland today and tomorrow. Dead fine fuels will dry over a short period in these conditions

Both FFMC and ISI become high in eastern and coastal areas. Where the FFMC is high dead fuels will ignite and burn hot enough to burn live fuels such as heather. Where ISI is above 3 spread rates could be fast. Lower soil layers are still damp, the potential for smouldering is therefore low

Overall fires could burn and spread, with high fire intensity, but should not have significant smouldering. Once rain arrives then fire danger reduces.

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