County hosts wildfire workshop

NORTHUMBERLAND Fire and Rescue Service is preparing for its main role in an ambitious European wildfire scheme.

The European Forest Fire Networks Project (EUFOFINET), which launched in October 2010, is now at its halfway point and entering an important final year.

It is covering a range of areas including detection and prevention of wildfires, wildfire suppression strategies, mapping risks and hazards, training and simulation strategies and restoration of land burned by wildfire.

Following successful workshops in May and September, the Northumberland organisation, representing the UK, will continue to work with partners from Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Poland and the Slovak Republic.

It is also going to host one of the five remaining workshops in March. This event will focus on good practice in fighting and suppressing wildfires.

Northumberland’s Acting Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett said: “We are looking forward to hosting the workshop and preparations are already under way.

“Our involvement in the EUFOFINET project has been very rewarding so far. We believe that during the coming year the project will help Northumberland and all European partners to develop and refine best practice for the management of wildfires, which can be tailored to local conditions.”

Towards the end of the project, the EUFOFINET partners will develop individual action plans which will outline how they will integrate and implement some of the best practice that has been exchanged within their own localities and regions.

Another key activity will be the development of a glossary of terminology for wildfire for use in Europe. This task is being led by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.