Robert C. McLeod: Community Protection and FireSmart Program

Delivered May 29, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the FireSmart program is an important tool in mitigating risk and improving community protection in the event of a wildland fire.

Applying FireSmart principles increases human safety, decreases property loss and enhances wildland fire suppression success.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources continues to encourage communities, agencies, and home and cabin owners to promote and implement FireSmart principles.

Information on FireSmart for communities, cabin and homeowners is available from the regional and local ENR offices or at NWTfire.com

ENR headquarters and regional staff have been meeting with the Emergency Measures Organizations, Municipal and Community Affairs, Lands and Industry, Tourism and Investment to confirm roles and strengthen relationships to mitigate risk in the event of a wildland fire.

The Department is also finalizing its Community Hazard and Risk Mitigation Project with Municipal and Community Affairs as well as working together on critical infrastructure assessment and resiliency planning.

Mr. Speaker this project is expected to result in updated recommendations for communities to include in their emergency plans.

Community wildland fire protection will now be integrated into existing emergency management processes.

ENR is continuing to pursue additional funding opportunities to help advance community-supported wildland fire risk management objectives.

Should communities secure funding for mitigation work, the Department will continue to assist communities with technical advice.

Mr. Speaker, as we prepare for summer and another wildland fire season, I encourage all residents to make the effort to plan and prepare for potential emergencies.

FireSmart work individuals and communities complete makes our fire response more effective and increases the chance of saving property and protecting lives.

Reducing risk increases safety.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.