COMMUNITY FIRESMART PROGRAM
The threat of wildfire is always imminent in communities if preventative measures are not taken into consideration, planned, and implemented in advance. As more new developments grow in forested areas and new dwellings are built in natural areas, the public should be aware of and united against the problems related to wildfire. There should be an awareness of preventative actions that can be taken in advance to supplement the efforts of organized firefighting services.
Forest and prairie wildfires are capable of spreading at an astonishing rate. Crowning wildfires often spread at rates of 7 kilometers per hour, and can potentially send embers as far as 2 kilometers ahead of the fire. Wind-blown prairie fires can travel at speeds in excess of 10 kilometers per hour.
In Alberta, 50 per cent of wildfires are caused by human activity. The remaining 50 per cent are sparked naturally by lightning.
Over the last 10 years, an average of 1,300 wildfires a year have burned 210,000 hectares of forest annually in Alberta. Wildfires have forced the evacuation of thousands of people from their communities, and have even destroyed homes.
If you live in or near a forested area, you may be more likely to encounter a wildfire. The best way to protect yourself against loss, damage or injury is to practice FireSmart principles on your property.
By following the FireSmart Home Owner’s Manual, you can help reduce that risk.
A copy of the FireSmart Home Owner's Manual can be downloaded here.