FireSmart Canada’s Neighbourhood Recognition Program (NRP) is a national program developed to officially recognize neighbourhoods that have taken critical steps to reduce their vulnerability to wildland fire. The program focuses on bringing neighbours together to address threats on their respective properties, and those in common areas within the community.
Neighbourhoods and subdivisions in areas of Canada prone to wildland fire can apply to become FireSmart Recognized Neighbourhoods by submitting their applications in the NRP Web Portal.
Why become a recognized FireSmart Neighbourhood?
Becoming a recognized neighbourhood is an important step in building resilience to wildland fire. Consider the benefits that come with receiving recognition:
It builds a greater sense of community. Working together to increase resilience to wildland fire is a great way to get to know your neighbours.
When mitigation measures have been implemented, it reduces the probability of homes and structures igniting due to wind-driven embers
It helps firefighters concentrate their efforts on fighting wildfires.
It develops strong connections between your neighbourhood and the local fire department.
It can give you peace of mind, knowing that your property and neighbourhood are more prepared in the event of a fire.
Becoming a Recognized Neighbourhood
Every neighbourhood first needs a Neighbourhood Champion, someone who is looking to improve their neighbourhood’s resilience to wildland fire while building relationships. The Neighbourhood Champion rallies their neighbours and acts as a point of contact between the Local FireSmart Representative (LFR)/NRP Specialist and the residents. The Champion is also responsible for submitting the majority of the required documentation to apply for recognition.
Once you have a Neighbourhood Champion and you meet the recognition criteria, your neighbourhood can apply for recognition status on the FireSmart Canada NRP Web Portal.
Enlist an LFR or a NRP Specialist to complete a neighbourhood Wildland Fire Hazard Assessment.
Set up a neighbourhood FireSmart committee, which creates, implements, and maintains the FireSmart Neighbourhood Mitigation Plan and tracks its progress or status.
Create a Neighbourhood Mitigation Plan that identifies locally-agreed upon solutions that the neighbourhood can implement.
Conduct FireSmart events each year that are dedicated to a local FireSmart project.
Invest a minimum of $2 per capita annually (including volunteer time) in local FireSmart Neighbourhood efforts.
Submit an annual report to FireSmart Canada that documents continuing compliance with the program.
Steps toward recognition
1. Create an account in the FireSmart Canada NRP Web Portal
Create a neighbourhood profile in the NRP web portal to select an LFR/NRP Specialist in your area.
2. Form a FireSmart Neighbourhood Committee
The Neighbourhood Champion recruits others from the neighbourhood to create a FireSmart Neighbourhood Committee. The Committee can be made up of residents, fire professionals or anyone interested in improving wildland fire resiliency. The committee is led by the Neighbourhood Champion.
3. LFR/NRP Specialist Conducts Neighbourhood Wildland Fire Hazard Assessment
The LFR/NRP Specialist conducts a visit and completes a Neighbourhood Wildland fire Hazard Assessment Form, which provides an evaluation of the neighbourhood’s wildland fire readiness. The assessment must be presented to the local FireSmart Committee for review and acceptance.
4. Create a FireSmart Neighbourhood Mitigation Plan
The FireSmart Neighbourhood Committee and with the support of the LFR/NRP Specialist create a FireSmart Neighbourhood Mitigation Plan to outline the neighbourhood’s planned mitigation measures. The plan must contain a minimum of three FireSmart mitigation ‘Action Items’ and should be reviewed and approved by the LFR or NRP Specialist.
5. Implement FireSmart Events
The FireSmart Neighbourhood Committee organizes FireSmart events (outlined in the FireSmart Neighbourhood Plan). These activities can range from information sessions to ‘work bee’ wildland fire hazard clean-up sessions. FireSmart event(s) are mandatory for recognition and renewal. Use the Volunteer Sign-Up and Volunteer Resource Tracker sheets to record your FireSmart event and neighbourhood involvement.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you are ready to apply!
6. Apply for Recognition
Complete the required forms and submit your application through the FireSmart Canada NRP Web Portal.
7. Renew your Recognition Status
When the time comes, you can also apply to have your recognition status renewed in the web portal. Annual renewals follow a similar process as the initial application.
Neighbourhoods near you
See a list of the communities in your province or territory who have been recognized as FireSmart neighbourhoods, and find your local FireSmart liaison to take the next step.