Communities across Canada mobilize for Wildfire Preparedness Day

Advocates highlight the importance of mitigating wildfire risks

Communities across Canada mobilize for Wildfire Preparedness Day

Catastrophe & Flood

By Jonalyn Cueto

Communities nationwide are assembling for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 4, as part of a national effort to bolster resilience against the increasing threat of wildland fires.

The initiative, backed by insurance partners including Co-operators and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), engages residents to enhance preparedness through local projects.

This year marks a significant increase in participation, with 378 neighbourhoods across 10 provinces and two territories participating—an increase of 165 neighbourhoods from the previous year.

Maya Milardovic, associate vice-president of government relations for Co‑operators, highlighted the growth and importance of the day.

“We are thrilled to see Wildfire Community Preparedness Day grow exponentially since its inception in 2015,” said Milardovic. “As a founding member and insurer, we recognize the need for raising wildfire mitigation awareness across Canada and supporting communities with incentives, including the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day awards and our FireSmart discount.”

FireSmart Canada spearheads the annual event in collaboration with its partners, including Co‑operators, the ICLR and various provincial and territorial wildland fire management agencies.

According to a media release, this initiative follows a challenging wildland fire season in 2023, which had profound impacts on families and communities throughout Canada.

Lisa Walker, director of partnerships and resiliency at the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, emphasized the initiative's importance.

“Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is a pivotal first step for neighborhoods to increase their resilience to wildland fire,” said Walker. “By implementing FireSmart principles, communities can lay the foundation for long-term prevention and mitigation strategies, ensuring they are better prepared against the threat of wildland fire.”

FireSmart Canada’s mission is to help Canadians mitigate wildland fire risks through educational programs, outreach training, and workshops. The organization operates under a mandate from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and is supported by federal, provincial, and territorial wildland fire management agencies.

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