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Wildfire Community Preparedness Day - Saturday, May 6, 2017

Accomplish something great and organize neighbours, friends or a community group and participate in a project that reduces your wildfire risk.

APPLY FOR A CHANCE TO WIN $500 FOR YOUR GROUP NEIGHBOURHOOD OR COMMUNITY!

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Commit a couple of hours, or the entire day and join others throughout the nation making communities a safer place to live on Saturday, May 6, 2017.  Challenge your neighbourhood, friends, family members, co-workers, community service group, youth organization, club or any eligible group to create a project and accomplish something great together!

Efforts will raise community wildfire awareness, help protect homes and help neighbourhoods and entire communities work towards becoming FireSmart.

In collaboration with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), and The Co-operators, FireSmart Canada is pleased to present the second annual National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 6, 2017.

During Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, communities across Canada are encouraged to participate in local mitigation projects to help reduce the risk of wildfire damage to their homes and neighbourhoods.

Is your community working towards to becoming nationally recognized through the FireSmart Canada Community Recognition Program? Use this day as your FireSmart Day and enter to win $500 for use towards it! 

Visit www.firesmartcanada.ca/firesmart-communities  or email general@firesmartcanada.ca to find out more about the FireSmart Canada Community Recognition Program

HERE'S SOME PROJECT IDEAS TO GET YOU THINKING! COME UP WITH IDEAS THAT WILL WORK BEST FOR YOURCOMMUNITY!

  • Host a FireSmart Community Champion Workshop for your neighbourhood; invite surrounding neighbourhoods
  • Hold your neighbourhoods’ first FireSmart Board meeting or FireSmart Day
  • Perform individual FireSmart  Wildfire Hazard Assessments on each of the homes in your community
  • Clear leaves, pine needles and combustible debris from the roofs and gutters of the neighbourhood homes
  • Sweep porches and decks clearing them of leaves, pine needles and combustible debris
  • Rake under decks, porches, sheds and play structures and dispose of debris
    Prune low-hanging tree branches up to a height of 2 metres
  • Collect downed tree limbs and broken branches and take them to a disposal site
  • Remove combustible items stored under decks and porches
  • Ensure all the address numbers of all neighbourhood homes are visible form the street
  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire screening no larger than 3mm mesh
  • Help an elderly neighbor do FireSmart work to their home
  • Build or update 72-hour kits for each family in the neighbourhood
  • Develop a phone/text tree that can be used for fire evacuation alerts
  • Identify and remove high flammability plants from within 10 metres of neighbourhood homes
  • Distribute FireSmart information to neighbours
  • Join forces with neighbours and pool your resources to pay for a chipper service to remove slash
  • Work with local emergency management authorities to develop and practice a neighbourhood evacuation plan
  • Invite a horticulturist to review the FireSmart Guide to Landscaping with you and your neighbours and suggest which types of FireSmart plants might work best in your neighbourhood

WHEN TO APPLY

You can start submitting project funding applications beginning Monday, January 31, 2017 through to Friday, March 21, 2017 11:59pm MT. A panel will review applications and select up to 20 project award recipients. 

Additional funding is available in the following individual provinces in partnership with FireSmart Canada:

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is offering three additional $500 awards within the province as part of this program. Additional project applications in Alberta will AUTOMATICALLY be considered through the above application process.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources is offering four additional $500 awards for distribution within the province as part of this program. Additional project applications in Ontario will AUTOMATICALLY be considered through the above application process.

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities is offering FireSmart grants of up to $10,000 each to local governments for support of FireSmart Community initiatives such as this. Contact your local government (Municipality, Regional District or First Nationals Band Council) and encourage them to apply. Find more information here by the deadline of January 27, 2017.

FOLLOW FireSmart Canada on Facebook and @FireSmart on Twitter

FireSmart Resources

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FireSmart - Homeowner's Assessment - FireSmart Begins at Home. Assess your risk from wildfire.

FireSmart - Homeowner's Manual - FireSmart Begins at Home. By choosing to extend our lifestyles and communities further into forested areas, we become more exposed to the danger of wildfire.
Living where wildfires can occur puts your home at risk, but it is possible to live safely with this natural event. The recommendations
in this manual will reduce the risk of wildfire to your home and neighbourhood and help firefighters to defend your home.

Conservation and Water Stewardship - Wildfire Program Restrictions - During the wildfire season (April 1st – November 15th), there may be times when the increased risk of wildfire, due to current wildfire activity, dry conditions, forecasted weather, and/or an increased risk of lightning caused wildfires...(open PDF)

FireSmart Your Farm - Protect Your Operation From Wildfires (PDF)

A Guide to Landscaping Practices that Protect Your Home From Wildfire (PDF)

FireSmart Manual (PDF)

Wildfire Evacuation Brochure (PDF)

Values-at risk (VAR) inventory in the Whiteshell Provincial Park Information Bulletin (PDF)

Values At Risk Profile Tool

firesmartgoogleThis  Values At Risk Profile Tool  enables and assists emergency personnel identify critical Values At Risk in an emergency.

Membership login and password are required. Please contact Jeff Erwin for more information.

Click here to enter Values at Risk Google Earth Profile Tool.

The FireSmart program provides information to give communities and individuals across Manitoba and Canada the information and tools they need to confront interface fire protection issues. Forested and wildland areas are highly desirable places to live. What makes them so attractive, however, also makes them hazardous. While vegetation is an amenity for residents, it is nothing more than a source of fuel for a fire. The Office of the Fire Commissioner’s (OFC) goal is to reduce personal and property losses that result from wildfires in the Wildland Urban Interface. To achieve this, the OFC promotes awareness of fire safety and prevention.

What is the Wildland Urban Interface?

Wildland Urban Interface areas exist wherever homes and businesses are built among trees and other combustible vegetation. Simply put, Wildland Urban Interface is where the urban lifestyle meets the forested area.

Over many decades fuels have accumulated in forested areas of the province. Fire is a natural process in the environment. Disturbance intervals are times when a wildfire would be expected to burn in an area in a normal natural cycle but is stopped due to fire suppression resources. As disturbance intervals increase over many decades, forest fuels have accumulated; forest health has declined while the potential risk of wildfires continues to grow. As we have become increasingly successful at suppressing forest fires to protect our timber resources and communities, we are inadvertently altering the forest landscape.

However, you are not helpless against the threat of wildfire. You can increase your level of awareness, increase your level of preparation and reduce your risk with respect to wildfire in the Wildland Urban Interface.

Are You At Risk From Wildfire?

There are two types of fire that you should be aware of; the fire that threatens your property from an outside source, and secondly, the fire which originates from your activities. Wildfire from either source can be extremely destructive.

Be FireSmart

The preventative work done now by you and your neighbors reduces fire hazard and protects your investment and the forest against wildfire.

How Prepared Are You?

FireSmart Landscapes

Managing the vegetation in and around your property to lessen the risk of wildfire. This can be accomplished by thinning and pruning, removing volatile trees such as spruce and planting fire-resistant species such as aspen (species conversion), the construction of fuel breaks, or general cleanup in and around your property.

  • Are evergreen trees, thinned/pruned and brush removed at least 10 to 30 meters from around your building?
  • Are tree branches pruned one to two meters above ground to prevent surface fires from spreading to treetops?
  • Are grass and weeds mowed for ten meters around the house? Is your yard free from leaves and debris?
  • Is your street, lot number and name clearly visible from the road?
  • Is your driveway wide enough for emergency vehicle access?
  • Is the spark arrestor or screen on your chimney or stove pipe adequate? Do you check and clean your chimney or stove pipe on a regular basis?
  • Did you contact your utility company if trees or branches are not clear of power lines?
  • Are roof and gutters free of leaves, twigs and other debris?
  • Is firewood stacked a minimum of ten meters from structures.
  • Is there adequate exterior water supply for emergency use?
  • Do you have a garden hose, ladder and fire-fighting tools within easy reach?
  • Is your outdoor fire pit or ring situated in a cleared area and all overhanging vegetation cut away?
  • Did you check local burning regulations to determine if a fire permit is required?
  • Do you haul debris to a refuse site?
  • Do you have a contingency plan in the event of a fire? Does your family know the escape routes, who to call and what to do?

What Is Fuel (Vegetation) Management?

Fuel management is the process of modifying forest fuels. Reduction of fire hazard in fuels capable of supporting fast-spreading, high intensity fires often requires significant intervention – removal, reduction, or conversion of on-site fuels. By reducing fuels in areas where the forest meets community development, fires will pose less threat to residents and will be safer for fire fighting crews.

Your fire prevention awareness is especially important in rural settings as response times by fire agencies can be extended due to geographics involved.

It is not a question of whether or not interface fire losses will occur in Manitoba but a question of when and where they will occur.

Fuel management initiatives can help reduce the danger of devastating wildfire losses. To assist home and business owners in fire prevention and protection check out Manitoba’s Home Owner’s FireSmart Manual and the Wildfire Evacuation Brochure.