Report a wildfire: If you see a wildfire in a forested area call 310-FIRE (3473)
Preparing for the threat of wildfire is a shared responsibility.
FireSmartTM is a framework designed to mitigate the risk of and educate residents and stakeholders regarding the potential for large uncontrollable wildfires near communities and critical infrastructure.
Community members, community leaders, industry and all levels of government have a responsibility to lessen the effects of wildfire. FireSmart is the implementation of both prevention and mitigation measures to reduce wildfire threat to Albertans and their communities while balancing the benefits of wildfire on the landscape.
In Alberta, we bundle FireSmart into 3 planning scales: landscape, community and the wildland-urban interface. Industry is another critical component of the provincial FireSmart program and is an important consideration at all 3 FireSmart planning scales.
FireSmart™, Intelli-feu and other associated marks are trademarks of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.
Request to use FireSmart logo and images
To request to use the FireSmart logo and other images, see FireSmart Canada.
Request a presentation or order materials
To request a FireSmart presentation or order materials, contact [email protected].
The Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), is the area where human development meets or intermingles with the natural environment. In addition, fires within the WUI result in fire suppression challenges due to the different burning characteristics of wildland fuels and buildings.
For information on how to live safely with this natural event, see FireSmart Canada – Wildland-Urban Interface.
Home Ignition Zone
The Home Ignition Zone is the area within 30 m of the structure of your home that is most susceptible to wildfire.
Protecting your home from wildfire
Whether you are doing regular yard maintenance or making large-scale changes during renovations or landscaping, simple actions can make choices that will help protect your home from wildfire.
Some of the measures cost very little and can help reduce the vulnerability of your home to wildfire. Others require planning and long-term commitment. The following FireSmart actions can help protect your home.
- Home and property maintenance: Integrate FireSmart into your long-term renovations and incorporate yard clean up to reduce your risk of damage from wildfire. See the FireSmartTM begins at home guide for simple tips.
- Home construction and renovation: Using fire resistant building materials such as stucco, fire resistant shingles and double or triple pane windows can reduce the risk of sparks and embers igniting your home. See the FireSmart Home Development Guide (PDF, 1.9 MB) and Wildfire-Resilience Best-Practice Checklist For Home Construction, Renovation and Landscaping (PDF, 1.3 MB).
- Yard and landscaping: Mowing and watering your lawn, planting fire resistant plants in your garden and using rock mulch instead of wood mulch can reduce the risk of wildfire. The FireSmart Guide to Landscaping can help you make FireSmart choices.
Visit FireSmart Canada for more information on how to apply FireSmart principles to your property.
Wildfires have become increasingly complex in recent years due to climate change, increased development in the WUI and a lack of capacity for both wildland and structural agencies.
The community scale refers to FireSmart planning in a 2 km zone surrounding a:
- First Nation reserve
- Metis settlement
- summer village
- municipal district
- specialized municipality
- improvement district
- special area
Every community has a unique wildfire risk and unique opportunities to address those risks, with the end goal of improving community wildfire resilience. After completing a Hazard and Risk Assessment, each community progresses through a series of steps in the FireSmart community wildfire risk management cycle. These steps are slightly different based on the level of wildfire risk that a community faces.
If your community is within the Forest Protection Area, contact your local forest area office and ask to speak with your Wildfire Prevention Officer. If you are located outside the Forest Protection Area, contact [email protected].
The FireSmart program is implemented through 7 disciplines to help communities address the threat of wildfire.
1. Public education
Raising awareness that Alberta is in a fire-prone environment and educating communities and residents about prevention and mitigation. Education covers all aspects of FireSmart – from learning which landscaping plants and building materials are less flammable to what residents can do to create a wildfire-resilient property and community.
Utilizing local knowledge and experts in their respective fields, plans are developed by communities for wildfire preparedness and wildfire mitigation and response’s inclusion in local emergency plans. These plans aid in directing FireSmart prevention efforts at the community scale as well as guiding communities on how to prepare for wildfires.
3. Vegetation management
Fire behaviour is influenced by 3 main elements:
- fuel (vegetation)
Weather and topography cannot be modified, so vegetation management is key to reducing fire behaviour. Vegetation management occurs in 3 main forms:
- species conversion to a less flammable vegetation species
Vegetation management accounts for approximately 80% of all FireSmart projects.
Post-fire studies, experiments and models have shown that homes ignite due to the condition of the home itself and everything around it. Legislation, bylaws, plans, policies and development standards all play a significant role in building and maintaining FireSmart communities. Consideration of wildfire at the development planning stage is a key step in protecting communities from wildfire.
Whether in the design stage, building, or performing renovations, or at the broader neighbourhood and community scales, there are many ways development standards can help protect homes, residents and communities from wildfires.
6. Interagency cooperation
WUI fires require the collaboration of many groups, agencies and organizations. Strong partnerships are essential to a successful community FireSmart program.
The successful implementation of any FireSmart initiative will include the input and cooperation from each agency or group that might be affected by the outcome. Through the development of FireSmart committees, commitment to mutual aid agreements and the hosting of informational meetings, relationships can be built and nurtured over time.
Wildfires do not respect jurisdictional boundaries and can move from wildland areas into communities and from communities into wildland areas. In many cases, WUI events require the response of many different emergency response organizations. In order for response to be efficient, safe and organized, planning and training must be completed ahead of time.
Neighbourhood Recognition Program
If you live in a region susceptible to wildfires, you and your neighbours can learn how to decrease the risk of losing your homes, and how to best protect yourselves in the event of a wildfire.
For more information, see FireSmart Canada Neighbourhood Recognition Program.
Contact [email protected] to reach your FireSmart Canada Provincial Liaison for Alberta and learn more about the Neighbourhood Recognition Program.
Advanced Home Assessment Program
The Advanced Home Assessment Program is a voluntary property assessment program for residents looking to determine and mitigate their home and property’s risk to wildfire. An assessor will visit the resident’s property and provide a report that highlights areas of risks and recommendations.
For more information, see FireSmart Canada Advanced Home Assessment Program.
Contact [email protected] to learn how to get started with the Advanced Home Assessment Program.
The Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta provides FireSmart program funding for community projects that aim to reduce the risk of and mitigate potential damage caused by wildfires.
See reports on projects funded by Alberta FireSmart.
Fire plays a crucial role in the dynamics of fire-dependent ecosystems. It is important to consider the integration of fire and forest management. Integration of fire and sustainable forest management plays an essential role in the design of FireSmart landscapes. Strategic landscape level disturbances provide numerous ecological and wildfire management objectives.
The Government of Alberta, forest companies, industrial operators and other stakeholders all play a vital role at this scale, in collaboration with community and residents.
Industrial Wildfire Control Plan (IWCP)
The Industrial Wildfire Control Plan (IWCP) is a mandatory requirement under the Forest and Prairie Protection Act. IWCPs are required from all companies operating within one kilometre of public land from March 1 to November 30. If activities are restricted to outside of this period, then no submission is required.
The intent is to provide the Government of Alberta with the location of full time employees in order to increase their safety in the event of a wildfire.
All companies submitting an IWCP are required to do so through the Alberta Wildfire System (AWS).
To log in to IWCP, you will need a Government of Alberta account and password.
- To get a Government of Alberta account, see User ID and Client IDs for access to Industry Online Services at Alberta Environment and Parks land forms.
Full Time Habitation Guideline
IWCP submissions are only required for locations/facilities that will be occupied full time. Full time habitation means employees are present at the facility, on average, for 4 or more hours each day. However, locations will be accepted if time spent at each facility is less than the guideline suggests.
Temporary operating locations/facilities active during wildfire season (for example, seismic, drilling) are also required to submit an IWCP.
Your company is not required to submit an IWCP if operations do not meet this minimum.
Maintaining and updating IWCPs
- Companies may maintain as many plans as they like (for example, a company may maintain one plan provincially or create plans for separate working areas).
- Each IWCP must be updated prior to the end of February and updated when significant changes occur to the plan during the fire season.
- If there are deficiencies found, the company planner will be contacted by Government of Alberta staff to correct the deficiencies.
If your plan is not updated during the current fire year, the plan will become inactive and the information will not be made available to emergency responders. The company planner or administrator must update/activate the plan prior to fire season to ensure their data is available for emergency responders.
The information submitted remains confidential and will be used solely by the Government of Alberta to assist in protecting your personnel and infrastructure from wildfires.
Contact IWCP Support
IWCP support is available Monday to Friday from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm.
Email: [email protected]
Power Line Hazard Assessment Plan (PHAP)
The purpose of the Power Line Hazard Assessment Plan (PHAP) is to reduce wildfires caused by power line contacts or equipment failures and the threat of infrastructure damage from an encroaching wildfire.
The PHAP is applicable to all power lines within the province of Alberta and is a requirement as part of the pre-application requirements for power line approvals that fall within the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. This also applies to Vegetation Control Easements (VCE), but not to underground lines.
The PHAP also performs as a risk-based tool used by industry to inform hazard tree maintenance, right-of-way widening and tree freeing programs, as well as wildfire best management practices.
Power line approvals that fall within identified FireSmart Community Zones must be referred to the Government of Alberta prior to application to ensure alignment with community FireSmart planning.
PHAP User Manual (PDF, 912 KB)
To login to PHAP you will need:
Wildfire Hazard Identification Tool (WHIT)
The Wildfire Hazard Identification Tool (WHIT) is intended to help employers in Alberta determine if a wildland fire hazard exists near a current or planned worksite that could compromise the health and safety of employees working there if a wildland fire were to affect the area.
Contact WHIT Support
WHIT Support is available Monday to Friday from 8:15 am to 4:40 pm.
Email: [email protected]
Access Wildfire GIS Data
There are several ways of obtaining critical wildfire information to support your emergency management decisions. Accessing Wildfire GIS Data (PDF, 46 KB) describes the various data available and provides instructions to access them.
To access the Alberta Geospatial Services Platform you will need either:
- a MyAlberta Digital ID for Business account (recommended), or
- a personal Alberta.ca Account (not available for clients outside of Alberta)
For instructions on how to create and manage a MyAlberta Digital ID for Business account, see Creating a MyAlberta Digital ID for Business Account (PDF, 530 KB).
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