After the horrible fire in Fort McMurray last year, the region of St. Paul is taking some measures to help make sure something similar doesn’t happen here.
The region is partnering up with Firesmart on on a few preventative measures on lands they own.FireSmart is a national program adopted in communities across Canada aimed at reducing the risk of wildfire to homes and neighbourhoods.
Some of the planned activities include assements of communities on the fringes with the wildenress. This is conducted by qualified professionals with the support of the local communities. This includes removal of dead standing trees and thinning/pruning the remaining trees. This is not a clear cutting operation and is part of vegetation management.
Debris generated from the removal and thinning of trees and plants is being disposed of in a number of different ways including mulching and small, controlled burns supervised by qualified contractors. Debris piles are being disposed of using supervised controlled burning that is only done in favourable, safe weather conditions and are closely monitored at all times, following strict guidelines.
Once work begins, the local government is asking residents to stay away from work zones and equipment, as well as to pay attention to posted signs.Stay clear of the ongoing controlled burn sites and drive with caution when passing these sites on the road. Slowing or stopping your vehicle near the controlled burns increases the risk of traffic accidents.
This will not be entirely the work of the region though, your help is needed too. The Region of St. Paul Emergency Management is looking for a member of the public for their sub-division, lake lot or Municipality to be designated as a FireSmart Champion. This person will work with the Director of Emergency Management to get the process in motion. It is not a time consuming task, although it does require being organized, being a leader in your area, able to provide direction to the public in the work group. If you feel you are up to the challenge, get in touch with them at
Resources (links below)
FireSmart Home Development Guide assists homeowners in choosing building materials that will reduce the risk of fire damage to their homes.
FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual outlines steps homeowners can take to protect their home and yard from the risk of wildfire.
FireSmart Homeowner’s Assessment assists homeowners in assessing wildfire hazards present in and around their home and yard.
FireSmart Canada Guide to Landscaping assists in planning landscaping, there are several things to keep in mind in addition to the FireSmart principles.
If you have any questions please contact our Local FireSmart Representative, Rob Duffy, at 780-645-3301 ext. 219