Wildfire prevention

Learn essential wildfire prevention, preparedness, and controlled burning guidance.

Help reduce wildfires and protect Scotland

Wildfires pose a serious threat to Scotland's landscapes, wildlife, and communities. We can all play a part in preventing them. By following a few simple guidelines, we can protect the places we love and keep ourselves safe.

  • Follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code’s advice and never start a fire when a wildfire danger assessment is in place and during prolonged dry periods in areas such as forests, woods, farmland or peaty ground.
  • Don’t have BBQs, on any flammable surface during very dry and prolonged weather. Instead have them within safe designated BBQ areas.
  • Don’t have campfires or any outdoor fire when a wildfire danger assessment is in place or during prolonged dry periods.
  • Always fully extinguish cigarettes and dispose of them responsibly.
  • Don’t leave litter, take it home with you and leave no trace. Glass in direct sunlight can cause a fire. Ensure none is lying around. 
  • Where possible use a stove rather than an open fire.  
  • If you do light a fire, keep it small, controlled and supervised
  • Make sure the fire has been fully extinguished and remove all traces of an open fire before you leave the area. 
A young pine tree is surrounded by smoke, with a line of fire moves along dried yellow grass.

How to Prepare for Wildfire

Living or working in a wildfire-prone area? It is better to plan and prepare for the worst, so you are always ready.

Wildfires are unpredictable and spread fast, endangering everything in their path. They are a threat to wildlife, livestock, domestic animals, environment, property, and people. 

Step 1: Make Your Escape Plan

Make sure your family members know what to do and where to assemble. If you run a business in a rural area, make sure your staff members know the plan. Also, think about how you will round up and care for pets and domestic animals safely.

Step 2: Share the plan with your neighbours

Make sure everyone in your household knows the escape route and meeting place. If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours, see if they might need assistance in a wildfire emergency.

Step 3: Talk to your children

Take time to explain the dangers of fire to them. Matches and lighters are tools, not toys. If they see anyone playing with fire, they need to tell a grown-up immediately.

Step 4: Make sure we can find you

Firefighters need to find you quickly in an emergency. Is your address visible from the main road? Are there clear access points to your property?

Step 5: Know the Risk

This website will be updated to include the current wildfire danger assessment in your area. Checking it and our social media channels regularly will help keep you informed about any wildfire threats.

Wildfire escape plan

Wildfires can force you to leave in a hurry. Having a well-organized escape plan could save your life and the lives of your loved ones. Here's how to ensure everyone is prepared.

  • Start by making a list of essential items each family member would need. These could include valuables,medication, money, clothing, food, and pets.
  • Photograph any key documents such as passports and insurance documents
  • Make a note of any important phone numbers
  • Keep documents, phone numbers, and essential items handy, making sure everyone knows where they are
  • Ensure your car is facing the right way to evacuate safely without reversing
  • Consider any vulnerable neighbours who may need assistance and reassurance
  • Most importantly, you should get out and stay out

Related content

How to report wildfires

Guide to reporting wildfires if you are outdoors or at home, and how to report suspicious behaviour