Research in county will help world-wide

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Field research carried out in Northumberland over the summer gathered valuable data that will help to predict how wildfires will spread in peat land and bog.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, Northumberland National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission helped researchers from the Netherlands and the USA to gather the data.

The research project determined how quickly different areas of peat land and bog took to burn and how different types and amounts of vegetation would affect how a wildfire might go ablaze and spread over peat land.

Chief fire officer Alex Bennett said: “The research gathered in Northumberland will be invaluable to firefighters in Northumberland and across the world.

“Peat fires are particularly challenging for firefighters as they can burn underground for days or even weeks, emerging at the surface at various points, becoming difficult to control.”

The research has been completed by a partnership of institutions including the Institute of Physical Safety (IFV) and van Hall Larenstein University in the Netherlands, and the Stephen F. Austin University in Texas, USA.

The researchers are now analysing their data and plan to return to Northumberland in October 2014 to present some of the results of their study.

For more information on the Wildfire Conference visit