The last decade has been on the warmest on record throughout North America. Climate change, overall forest health and increased development into wildland areas across the country have increased the threat to Canadian neighbourhoods.
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 – 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.