Empowering the public and increasing neighbourhood resilience
FireSmart Canada leads the development of resources and programs designed to empower the public and increase neighbourhood resilience to wildfire across Canada. Leveraging partnerships with a comprehensive network of leading wildland fire science researchers allows FireSmart Canada to develop programs and resources that are based on peer reviewed and defendable science.
Since the early 1990s, FireSmart Canada has maintained a mandate to reduce the risk that wildfires pose to populated areas, by facilitating interagency cooperation to promote education and awareness. The association has over 100 member organizations across Canada, including representatives from 10 provinces and territories, and international partners such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. This wide network of members and partners, positions PiP to continue delivering its mandate and promoting safety in the wildland/urban interface.
Recent wildfire seasons have illustrated the vulnerability of Canadian neighbourhoods to wildfire, with the potential of devastating loss. The personal, social and economic costs associated with large wildfire occurrence have raised questions about the degree to which Canadians, their property, and our vital natural resources are at risk from wildfire. As wildfires continue to cause major disruptions to urban areas – the Fort McMurray wildfire in May 2016 prompted the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history– FireSmart Canada’s mandate and FireSmart programs across the country remain as relevant and necessary today as they have ever been.
Appropriately managing wildfire requires balancing its natural role with the protection of human life, property and economic values. This equilibrium demands comprehensive risk management approaches including an appropriate mix of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. We can manage future risk collectively through the implementation and further development of a national FireSmart engagement and education program.