Fire service told to prepare for more floods and wildfires due to climate change

THE fire service must adapt to deal with increased risks of flooding and wildfires as a result of climate change, the Scottish Government says.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is also being asked to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by using renewable energy and moving to an ultra-low emission fleet.

A consultation on a new framework governing the fire service launched today (September 29), with members of the public invited to contribute their views until December 22.

Preventing fires and reducing the harm they cause will remain the main purpose of the service, but the consultation paper says SFRS must also prepare for more extreme weather due to the climate emergency.

It recommends continued investment in wildfire response resources and ensuring its buildings can remain operational during floods.

READ MORE: IN PICTURES: Young Scots go on strike to demand urgent action on climate change

Community safety minister, Ash Denham, said: “Throughout the pandemic, SFRS has been at the forefront of our response in meeting the needs of local communities in any way they are able to, from delivering prescriptions and food to using rural fire stations as Covid testing sites.

“In addition to the challenges which Covid recovery brings, Scotland is also facing significant changes as a result of EU exit, climate change, population changes and the expectations the public holds for all public services.

“All organisations need to adapt to these new demands and this framework will pave the way for further evolution, just as the challenges faced by SFRS continue to evolve.

“While the challenges Scotland faces are ever more complex, they also serve to foster opportunities for dynamic public sector organisations like SFRS to flourish and we encourage everyone who has an interest in this important consultation to have their say.”

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