A coalition of non-profits, provincial governments and ICMIF member The Co-operators came together this month to support Canada-wide action to make communities 'FireSmart'
On 5 May 2018 municipalities across Canada joined a national effort to reduce wildfire risk to local homes and environments in anticipation of this year's wildfire season.
A total of CAD $47,000 was awarded to 94 successful community applicants across Canada for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. This annual, national program was launched by FireSmart Canada in collaboration with The Co-operators, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and has since gained support from the Provinces/Territories of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland, and the Northwest Territories.
Communities which received an award can use it between May and September this year to host Wildfire Community Preparedness Day events that will raise awareness, help protect homes, and encourage neighbourhoods to build wildfire resiliency.
The Co-operators provided CAD $15,000 in funding to support communities in their efforts. Since 2014, The Co-operators has partnered with the NFPA and FireSmart Canada to drive wildfire resiliency efforts and advocacy to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of wildfires across Canada.
"As wildfire risk continues to increase across the country, Canadians and our communities are increasingly bearing the financial, social and emotional consequences of these events," says Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "To provide long-term solutions that protect what matters most, we need a co-ordinated adaptation effort that includes governments, insurers and all Canadians to design and maintain resilient communities."
Image: Ashcroft Reserve wildfire burning at Loon Lake, British Columbia, by Shawn Cahill.