A number of Alberta communities are at heightened risk for wildfires, and the government is actively pursuing opportunities to enhance wildfire preparedness in light of this year’s wildfire season.

The Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta has a proven track record of administering the Community Fireguard Program, which aims to create safer communities to mitigate the repercussions of wildfires, and fostering wildfire resilience throughout the province. Previous projects have successfully protected communities from the threat of wildfire.

“Enhancing community resilience to wildfire remains a priority for Alberta’s government. I’m very excited at the opportunity to work and contribute to enhanced wildfire resilience, prevention and mitigation efforts throughout our province.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

The province is helping at-risk communities cover the costs associated with building fireguards. Fireguards are areas near or surrounding communities where vegetation has been removed. They break the path of a wildfire and cut it off from fuel sources that could drive it towards a community. The construction of fireguards creates jobs for Albertans. Additionally, fireguards can be used as grazing land for livestock, which helps maintain the breaks and keep them from becoming overgrown with vegetation.

The Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta’s Community Fireguard Program is being offered in addition to existing initiatives and FireSmart programs that provide Alberta communities with education and resources related to wildfire prevention, mitigation and emergency planning. Initial program funding will be allocated based on community risk level and project readiness.

“The Community Fireguard Program will improve the safety and resilience of communities in forested regions of Alberta. We’re proud to be a partner with Alberta Forestry and Parks in this important initiative and we are pleased to administer this program that helps communities take proactive steps to protect their homes and livelihood.”

Richard Briand, president, Forest Resources Improvement Association of Alberta

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