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FireSmart Communities: Alberta

We are happy to be part of the FireSmart Community Recognition Program. As communities receive recognition awards we will be posting them here.

Would you like your community to become a recognized FireSmart community? Find out more about the program.

Want to speak with your Provincial Liaison about becoming a FireSmart community? Your Provincial Liaison is Laura Stewart.

Congratulations to the following Alberta neighbourhoods for becoming FireSmart Recognized Communities:

  • Lake Edith- 2014, renewals 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Summer Village of Waiparous- 2015, renewals 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Marten Beach- 2015, renewals 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Midway Estates- 2015, renewal 2016
  • Lower Kananaskis Lake Cottage Subdivision- 2015, renewal 2016, 2017, 2018,2019
  • Summerwood Estates- 2017, 2018
  • Marie Lake- 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Middle Springs 100/200, Banff- 2018, 2019
  • Middle Springs 300, Banff- 2018, 2019
  • Valleyview, Banff- 2018, 2019
  • Sulphur Court, Banff- 2018, 2019

Congratulations to the following Alberta local government recipients of the FireSmart Community Protection Achievement Award:

  • Kananaskis Improvement District- 2014
  • Strathcona County- 2015
  • Town of Edson- 2015
  • MD of Lesser Slave River #124- 2015
  • Town of Whitecourt- 2015
  • Town of Banff – 2018
  • Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo – 2018
  • Town of Canmore – 2019
  • Lac La Biche County – 2019

FireSmart Communities:
Provincial Liaison for Alberta

Laura Stewart, BA

Position: FireSmart Specialist
Organization: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Email: laura.a.stewart@gov.ab.ca
Phone: 587-985-2095
Office: 780-644-8780

Laura Stewart has worked with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry for the last five years as a FireSmart Specialist. Prior to joining the Alberta team, Laura spent four years with a municipal fire department as the Community Safety Education Coordinator. In this role, Laura was responsible for coordinating all home fire safety, emergency preparedness, and injury prevention programming. In 2012, FireSmart planning and education were added to Laura’s portfolio and she led a community FireSmart program.

Laura oversees the FireSmart Communities program for the province and is eager to partner with Alberta communities and work towards receiving FireSmart Community Recognition!

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Neighbourhoods, subdivisions, and small towns in areas of Canada prone to wildfire can earn FireSmart Community recognition status by meeting the following criteria:

  • Enlisting a wildland/urban interface specialist to complete an assessment and create a plan that identifies locally agreed-upon solutions that the community can implement.
  • Sponsoring a local FireSmart Board which maintains the FireSmart Community Plan and tracks its progress or status.
  • Conducting FireSmart Events each year that are dedicated to a local FireSmart project.
  • Investing a minimum of $2.00 annually per capita in local FireSmart Community efforts. This is surprisingly easy to do since volunteer time is credited at $24.17 per hour (2017 amount).
  • Submitting an annual report to FireSmart Canada documenting continuing compliance with the program.
  • If your community has a head start on FireSmart already and can document your efforts, this can also be recognized.

Becoming FireSmart takes time and coordination with your neighbours and others, but getting started is actually quite straightforward. Following these steps, your community will be on its way toward becoming FireSmart.

  1. Contact FireSmart – A community representative (you or another interested member of your community) phones FireSmart Canada at 780-718-5355 or completes an on-line request for contact by the Local FireSmart Representative on the FireSmart Canada website – www.firesmartcanada.ca
  2. Site Visit – Your Local FireSmart Representative, a specialist in wildland/urban interface (WUI) fire, will visit your area and assess wildfire hazards.
  3. Community Representation – At the same time, your Community Champion (again, this could be you) recruits others from your community to create a FireSmart Board which will include other homeowners and fire professionals and possibly land managers, planners and members of other interest groups.
  4. Assessment & Evaluation – The Local FireSmart Representative completes the wildfire hazard assessment and evaluation of the community’s wildfire readiness and schedules a meeting with your local FireSmart Board to present the assessment for review and acceptance by the Board.
  5. Moving Forward/Creating A Plan – Your local FireSmart Board develops a FireSmart Community Plan (a set of solutions to its WUI fire issues based on the Local FireSmart Representative’s report). All members of the FireSmart Board must concur with the final plan which is presented to and approved by the provincial/territorial FireSmart Liaison. The Local FireSmart Representative may work with your community to seek project implementation funds if needed.
  6. Implement Solutions – Solutions from your FireSmart Community Plan are implemented following a schedule designed by your FireSmart Board, who will be responsible for maintaining the program into the future.
  7. Apply for Recognition – FireSmart Community recognition status is achieved after your community submits its application form along with a completed FireSmart Community Plan and FireSmart Event documentation to your Local FireSmart Representative. Use the on-line form available on the FireSmart Canada website – www.firesmartcanada.ca
  8. Renewing Your Recognition Status – Annual renewal of your recognition is completed by submitting documentation of your community’s continued participation to the provincial/territorial FireSmart Liaison. Use the on-line form available on the FireSmart Canada website – www.firesmartcanada.ca

For more information on the FireSmart Canada Community Recognition Program – click  here Information Available includes:

Individual forms from – A User Reference Guide to the FireSmart Canada Community Recognition Program are available:  

Check the FireSmart Community Recognition Program area of this website to learn how to talk to your neighbours about FireSmart, and explore what it means to become a recognized FireSmart Community. The FireSmart Community Recognition Program provides a simple template that neighbourhoods can use to take action to protect homes from brush, grass and forest fires.

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