Applications open for funding wildfire preparedness events
By Cindy Macdonald
Building upon the success of the inaugural event in 2015, the second National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day in Canada will be held on May 7, 2016.
During Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, communities across Canada are encouraged to participate in local mitigation projects to help reduce the risk of wildfire damage to their homes and neighbourhoods. Groups and individuals can apply for funding to support local events to be held on May 7. Up to 30 projects will be sponsored.
“Wildfires have always been a natural process in Canada’s forests. However, as we experienced in 2015, a changing climate, increasing large fire activity and increasing development trends create a serious threat throughout Canada – putting neighbourhoods, communities, the public, and firefighter safety at risk every year,” explains Kelly Johnston, executive director of Partners in Protection.
The event is organized by Partners in Protection/FireSmart Canada, in collaboration with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Prevention (ICLR) and The Co-operators.
Shayne Mintz, Canadian regional director of the NFPA, comments: “Each year in Canada, millions of dollars of damage is caused by wildfire and this program is created to help raise wildfire awareness, promote collaboration and bring neighbours together to work on projects that can help protect homes, neighbourhoods and entire communities from future wildfire risk or current post-fire impacts.”
Paul Kovacs, executive director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction notes that many of the steps that homeowners can take to protect their homes and neighbourhoods from wildfire require nothing more than a small amount of funding, access to the right information and a little bit of elbow grease.
National Wildlife Community Preparedness Day projects may include clearing leaves and other combustible debris from around homes and other structures, working with neighbours to get a chipper service to remove slash, and distributing wildfire safety information.
To learn more about National Wildlife Community Preparedness Day in Canada, please visit www.firesmartcanada.ca.