It’s with much anticipation and excitement that I share with you that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), FireSmart Canada, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) and The Co-operators have announced the launch of the first annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Day in Canada.
In both the U.S. and Canada, Saturday, May 2, 2015 has been designated as the date to promote participation in local community risk reduction projects and events; making it an international day of wildfire mitigation activities.
In a recent conversation with Kelly Johnston, Executive Director of Partners in Protection he shared that, “wildfires have always been a natural process in Canada’s forests, however, a changing climate, increasing large fire activity, and increasing development trends create a serious threat throughout Canada – putting neighborhoods, communities, the public, and firefighter safety at risk every year. Empowering community members to develop their own local solutions to reduce wildfire risk is essential and an opportunity for more communities throughout Canada to participate in the FireSmart Program."
FireSmart is administered by Partners in Protection; a non-profit coalition of federal, provincial, first nations', private industry and municipal fire, emergency and land management experts. Through publications, programs, outreach training, and workshops, FireSmart provides tools for Canadians to become pro-active in reducing the risk of wildfire to their homes and communities. FireSmart programs and products are supported through membership and ongoing active support from organizations such as the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, the National Fire Protection Association and The Co-operators. The FireSmart Communities program is similar to the Firewise Communities/USA Program.
I'm looking forward to sharing the many successes and testimonials that our friends to the north will experience May 2. Who knows, in 2016 we could be sharing news of Wildfire Community Preparedness Days in additional countries!