The devastating Cannich wildfire serves as a stark reminder of the link between climate change and increased wildfire risk. Climate change is significantly amplifying the danger and severity of such incidents. The changing climate in the Highlands is leading to an increasing number of dry periods, which can create an environment conducive for wildfires to ignite and spread rapidly.

As the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service emphasises, the best protection against loss, damage or injury due to wildfire is prevention. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website provides resources to help members of the public to take all necessary measures to prevent wildfires and protect themselves if they occur.

Area Commander Michael Humphreys is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Local Senior Officer for Highland. He said: “Scotland will not be shielded from the impacts of climate change so we must adapt to meet the predicted rise in weather extremes in the years to come.

“Our National Wildfire Strategy considers the latest developments in wildfire management, training and operational procedures, as well as advances in PPE and equipment technologies. By following this strategy, we will help reduce the impact of wildfires on our local communities and the environment.

“It is imperative that SFRS continue to work closely with key partners, including land managers and communities, to establish a common understanding of the risks, prevention measures and response procedures.”

To better understand how wildfires have impacted these communities and those which have been impacted by previous wildfires, Highland Adapts is asking the public to share their experiences on the Highland Weather and Climate Story Map. This easy-to-use, interactive map is a vital tool for compiling and visualizing the impact of extreme weather events and climate changes in the region, including wildfires.

By sharing personal experiences and observations of impacts on individuals, communities, businesses, and the environment, the public can contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced in the Highlands. In doing so, they will help build the knowledge base needed to build long-term climate resilience in our region.

You can contribute your wildfire experiences to the Highland Weather and Climate Story Map by following this link.

Photo credit: Fort Augustus Fire Station