Canada lacking investment for its national fire prevention strategy

Canada lacking investment for its national fire prevention strategy

13 February 2009

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Canada — Canada’s national fire prevention strategy and FireSmart are two separate programs. This clarifies information that was originally posted on Feb. 12.

Canada has a national strategy for fire prevention that “is among the most progressive in the world,” yet it lacks long-term investment, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction reports.
The Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy (CWFS) was developed in 2005 and is built around three core elements: resilient communities and an empowered public; healthy and productive forest ecosystems; and modern business practices.
“The vision is sound, yet we remain vulnerable,” because of a lack of long-term investment, the ICLR said in a release.
In addition to the national strategy, Canada also has FireSmart, a program with specific risk management advice for property owners and community leaders that was developed by Partners in Protection and endorsed by all the major governments in the country, the ICLR said in a release.
“FireSmart needs support from a social marketing campaign to encourage property owners and community leaders to embrace their responsibility,” the ICLR said.
“Managing the risk of large fires should be a shared responsibility that includes fire agencies and property owners. This would include education about the risks and benefits of fire.”
One of the public misconceptions that need to be overcome is the public’s expectation that immediate suppression — used to control urban fires — is also the best way to manage wildland fires. As a result, many people oppose prescribed burns, or fires set by public officials with the intention of reducing the risk of large, uncontrolled fire by eliminating underbrush, blow down and forest litter, the ICLR noted.

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