Britain in Flames

Last spring huge swathes of the British countryside, from Dorset to the West Highlands erupted in flames. In the wake of a dry winter and drought orders across the south there’s a real risk of another year of serious wildfires.

In ‘Costing the Earth’ Tom Heap investigates the causes of forest and moorland fire and the innovative ideas that could help us predict them, and fight them.

At Crowthorne Forest in Berkshire, site of the most destructive of 2011’s fires he meets the young families evacuated from their homes who are now planting saplings that should prove to be more fire-resistant than their charred predecessors. In Northumbria he joins the local fire and rescue service for an exercise designed to test their speed and efficiency in the face of fire. And in the forests of South Wales he finds out why the region is the arson capital of the UK.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

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