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Financial impact of forest fires soars to over £500k

As the cost of damage to our managed forests from fires soars to over half a million pounds, our officers have taken to social media to explain the devastation caused to Wales’ landscape and wildlife.

The action comes following a spate of wildfires across Wales over recent weeks which have seen large areas of forests destroyed and wildlife killed. It has also seen additional pressure placed on emergency services who have had to respond to the fires during the coronavirus pandemic.

James Roseblade is a forestry manager in south west Wales. He features in the vlog, sharing his frustration at what he has witnessed:

“The fires have resulted in a significant financial loss of £500k to NRW. This  includes the loss of thousands of newly planted trees. The impact on nature and wildlife, particularly at this time of year with ground-nesting birds, is absolutely devastating."

Dylan Williams, an operations manager in north Wales, works closely with the emergency services: 

“One of the fires was caused by a rogue spark from a garden fire causing it to spread into the forest. Before setting that garden fire, please think about whether it is essential or not. Things can so easily get out of hand." 

We hope the message will encourage people to think twice before setting a fire in Wales’ woodland – whether deliberate or accidental, and supports the fire and rescue service-led Dawns Glaw campaign to reduce grass and wild fires.