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RMWB Developing Long-term FireSmart Plan

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
RMWB Developing Long-term FireSmart Plan

Overhead view of Ermine Cresent Area where FireSmart activities took place before wildfire // Photo via RMWB

The FireSmart program around the region is being updated.

FireSmart is a national program which helps reduce the risk of wildfires in areas where the urban setting meets environments prone to fires.

Earlier in the week, the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee heard from the Task Force about building a new long-term plan adding onto the on-going projects currently underway.

This includes work around Fort McKay, Fort Chipewyan, Stone Creek, Fort McMurray First Nations Reserve 468 and the Birchwood Trails.

Since 2004, over 250 hectares have been included in the program. Chair Jeanette Bancarz tells Mix News this helped some communities avoid destruction last year.

“The fire was actually stopped where the FireSmart activities and preparedness were completed. Even though it was that long ago, that community (Ermine Crescent) still stands today because of the FireSmart activity we did all those years ago.”

The updated plan would last for 5 years and focus first on Phase 2B around the Birchwood Trails, wildfire mitigation strategy and post-wildfire hazard assessment.

The hope is to have it developed by the end of April, early May.

The province is also increasing the current FireSmart budget for Alberta to $15 million, nearly tripling what they had last year. Along with the province, funding comes from the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta, RMWB and Canadian Red Cross.

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