Over the past six years, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has tackled almost 1000 wildfires which have spread across at least 1000m2. 

While the total number of outdoor blazes has decreased since a peak in 2018, numbers have been slowly creeping upward again since a lull during the lockdowns of 2020.

So far in 2023, one blaze is estimated to have burned the second-largest amount of area on record for UK wildfires. 

Scotland's largest wildfires by area burned


One expert has estimated that around 3500 hectares were affected by the flames near Glenuig, Lochaber, in April – making it the biggest blaze seen not just in Scotland but in the UK since 2008 according to records from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).


These are the top 20 largest wildfires in Scotland alone according to the figures spanning between 2008 and 2022.

Freedom of Information data has also revealed how many outdoor blazes were tackled by the SFRS each month since 2017.

Last year, wildfire season appeared to start earlier than usual with the highest number of March wildfires over the six-year period.

Scotland's wildfire season tends to take place between March and May as the grass and heather on many hillsides dry out and offer fuel for a blaze to spread.


Unsurprisingly with its vast amount of natural landscapes, the Highlands has seen consistently seen the highest volume of outdoor blazes.

Where did wildfires in Scotland take place in 2022?

Last year, the Highlands was followed by the Western Isles and Aberdeenshire in terms of wildfire numbers.

Hover over the following chart for a year-by-year comparison.