Controlled burning and muirburn for land managers

About the Muirburn Code and how to burn responsibly

The Muirburn Code

Fire is one of the oldest and most powerful land management tools. Controlling it requires planning, skill, and experience. 

Muirburn is the controlled burning of heather and vegetation from autumn into spring. It's already carried out in many areas of rural Scotland by land managers, gamekeepers, crofters, and farmers. We support this as a means of reducing wildfire threat. 

Do not burn outside of the muirburn season, as described within the Muirburn Code

White smoke surrounds leafless trees with flames crawling up to the branches

How to burn responsibly

Ensure that muirburn is done as described within the muirburn code. This prevents damaging habitats, wildfire, and the wider environment. Land managers are encouraged to complete the Muirburn Practitioner Foundation Course to help protect our fantastic Scottish landscape. 

To avoid false alarms and crews being sent out necessarily, there are five steps you should follow. 

  1. Call the relevant Fire and Rescue Control Room in advance and notify us of the location of your intended burn, your address, postcode, and best access point. 
  2. Have a burn plan in place. 
  3. Have sufficient people in place to manage the burn, keep the size of the burn manageable, check wind speed and direction and ensure you have adequate fire breaks to prevent unwanted spread. 
  4. If the fire gets out of control, call 999 immediately asking for Fire Service and notify us of address, postcode, and best access point.  
  5. Always ensure your fire is completely out before you leave it and reattend the next day to ensure it is fully extinguished. 

 How to report controlled burnings

Please report controlled burnings by calling the appropriate area.

SFRS non-emergency phone numbers

  • North: Dundee Control Room, 01382 835804
  • East: Edinburgh Control Room, 0131 228 1367
  • West: Johnstone Control Room, 01505 331661

If you are unsure which number best fits your area, you can use our main number for non-emergencies 0141 646 4500. 

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