CANADA – WINNIPEG, MB, April 29, 2021 /CNW/ – Canadians in neighbourhoods from coast to coast to coast are working this weekend and during the summer to make homes and properties more resilient to wildfire.
Saturday, May 1, is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, an initiative of FireSmart Canada and its partners the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, The Co-operators, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, the National Fire Protection Association, and the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland.
Canadians in 179 neighbourhoods applied for and have been awarded $500 toward a project to help reduce vulnerability to wildland fire. In addition, 39 neighbourhoods that were chosen to receive funding in 2020 but postponed events due to COVID-19 guidelines, are conducting activities this spring or summer.
May 1 is the seventh anniversary of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day in Canada.
“Since 2015, FireSmart Canada and its partners have provided funding, resources, tools, educational materials and support to 564 neighbourhoods or community groups to help build resilience to wildfire,” says FireSmart spokesperson Laura King. “There’s incredible value in having neighbours work together to ensure their homes and properties are FireSmart, adopt and implement the FireSmart principles, and develop long-term prevention and mitigation strategies.”
FireSmart’s longstanding partners support Wildfire Community Preparedness Day through funding, logistics, promotion, and diverse perspectives that help in the development of strategies and initiatives.
“As founding member, we are extremely proud of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, which promotes community-led efforts from coast to coast to better prepare, prevent and protect against wildfire risks,” says Maya Milardovic, AVP of government relations, The Co-operators. “Any extreme weather event, especially in the context of a pandemic, poses a significant risk to Canadians and our communities. Through our funding, partnerships and advocacy, we are focused on building greater wildfire resiliency across Canada.”
Recipients of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day funding and support for 2021 have acknowledged that they will adhere to and respect public health guidelines and conduct events when it is safe to do so.
All Canadians can participate in Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 1, by learning about FireSmart principles at www.firesmartcanada.ca and taking simple but effective actions around their homes and properties:
Rake and remove dry leaves and other debris within a minimum of 1.5 metres of a home’s foundation. As time permits, continue up to a 10-metre distance around the home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
Clean debris from the roof and gutters, and pay attention to maintaining 1.5 metre non-combustible zone.
Move wood piles at least 10 metres away from structures.
Sweep porches and decks, clearing them of leaves and other combustible debris. Rake under decks, porches, sheds and play structures.
Mow grass to a height of 10 centimetres or less.
Remove items stored under decks and porches and relocate them to a storage shed, garage, or basement. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors and should be located away from the home.
About FireSmart Canada FireSmart Canada™ is the national program committed to helping Canadians reduce their wildfire risk and become fire adapted through community-based solutions. Through publications, programs, outreach training, and workshops, FireSmart Canada provides tools for Canadians to be pro-active to reduce the risk of wildfire to their homes and communities. For more information visit www.firesmartcanada.ca.
About the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers Established in 1985, the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM or Council) provides an important forum for federal, provincial and territorial governments to come together to discuss and exchange information, provide leadership and promote action on common forest and forestry-related issues of Canadian public and international concern. The CCFM membership comprises 14 federal, provincial, and territorial ministers. The CCFM helps advance sustainable forest management nationally and internationally. Together, we share information on issues impacting on the forest sector, maintain scientific information to support forest management decision making, and provide a framework within which agreements can be signed and implemented on specific areas of interest.
About The Co-operators The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $56.4 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability, and achieved net carbon neutrality in 2020. The Co-operators is ranked as a Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada and listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Kincentric. For more information visit https://www.cooperators.ca/
About NFPA The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global not-for-profit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy, and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering our mission. NFPA’s mission is to help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge and passion. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is based on or adapted from materials provided and owned by the National Fire Protection Association. For more information visit www.nfpa.org
About ICLR Established in 1998 by Canada’s property and casualty insurers, ICLR is an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in Toronto and at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. ICLR is a centre of excellence for disaster loss prevention research and education. ICLR’s research staff is internationally recognized for pioneering work in a number of fields including wind and seismic engineering, atmospheric sciences, water resources engineering and economics. Multi-disciplined research is a foundation for ICLR’s work to build communities more resilient to disasters. Visit www.iclr.org