Fifteen Alberta communities have been awarded FireSmart grants to help reduce the risks of wildfires and protect lives and property.
“The FireSmart program is a partnership between governments, homeowners and industry. The program uses preventative measures like tree removal and education to reduce the threat of wildfire while balancing its ecological benefits.”
Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Budget 2015 provides 15 communities with about $800,000 in funding.
This year’s successful grant recipients are using funding for tree removal, wildfire planning, education, community engagement, training and bylaw review.
This year’s recipients are:
- the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, $60,000
- Fort Chipewyan, $73,600
- Fort Vermilion, $20,000
- Kananaskis Improvement District, $25,000
- La Crete, $20,000
- Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124, $100,000
- Mackenzie County, $50,000
- Northern Lights Education Society, High Level, $3,000
- Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, $80,000
- St. Isidore, $24,550
- Town of Swan Hills, $70,000
- Town of Edson, $100,000
- Town of Hinton, $21,050
- Summer Village of Waiparous; $72,840
- Town of Whitecourt, $65,500
Each community has committed to completing their project two years from their contract start date.
During the 2015 wildfire season, more than 1,750 wildfires were recorded, burning about 500,000 hectares of forest.
Since its inception 10 years ago, the FireSmart Community Grant Program has supported 129 different communities across Alberta and provided $5.8 million in grants for FireSmart projects.
Albertans report about one-third of wildfires in the province. If you see a wildfire, call toll free 310-FIRE (3473).