The Muirburn Code - Guidance Card
- Several plans should be made in advance covering the areas that can be burnt with the wind in different directions. This will aid preparations on the day.
- Before starting, light a small test fire to confirm that the conditions are suitable for controlled burning.
- Fires should be 30 m wide and about 150-300 m long (~0.5-1.0 ha in size). The size of fire may need to be increased in large areas of long, unburnt heather, especially if grazing livestock or deer are present.
- On heather or grass moors, a mosaic of burnt and unburnt areas should be produced.
- Make sure that there are adequate firebreaks in place to stop the fire; usually these should be 4-6 m wide.
- Make maximum use of natural/existing firebreaks such as tracks, watercourses etc.
- Beware of using fires from previous years as firebreaks, unless they are clean.
- Prepare any cut firebreaks carefully. If cut within 24 hours of lighting fires they are more likely to stop a fire. If cut earlier the residue may burn and carry the fire.
- Burn with the wind towards a firebreak, preferably downhill. Burning against the wind, or 'back burning', can be used to create firebreaks.
- Control both flanks of the fire at a desired width, leaving the fire front to move with the wind. It can be useful to have one flank defined by a natural or a prepared firebreak.
- Make sure one person stays with the fire for at least 10 minutes after it has been put out, to deal with any flareups.
Page updated: Tuesday, August 09, 2011