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Canadians urged to apply for funding to build community wildfire resilience

Research shows that embers from wildfires can ignite vegetation or material around homes

November 5, 2020  by CM Staff

People fleeing flames from the Fort McMurray forest fire in the area of Highway 63 South. PHOTO: DarrenRD. CC-BY-SA-4.0

EDMONTON, Alta. — Canadians in all provinces and territories are encouraged to apply for $500 to complete a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day project to help make their neighbourhoods more resilient to wildfire.

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is a national program supported by FireSmart Canada in collaboration with The Co-operators, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR).

Individuals, fire departments, organizations, community groups and municipalities are invited to submit applications to receive $500 for projects to help protect their neighbourhoods from wildfire. Projects can range from clean-up blitzes to awareness campaigns.

“FireSmart Canada is committed to helping homeowners and neighbourhoods understand how they can work together to become more resilient to wildfire,” FireSmart Canada executive director Ray Ault said in a prepared statement.

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“We hope to receive applications from homeowners and neighbourhoods in every province and territory, and for award recipients to further engage their communities in FireSmart activities and programs.”

Research shows that embers from wildfires can ignite vegetation or material around homes, leading to structure fires and devastating property loss. Clearing debris from under decks and using wildfire-resilient landscaping can help prevent a potential tragedy.

“Recent wildfires have shown that Canadian communities are vulnerable to devastating loss,” says Maya Milardovic, AVP of Government Relations, The Co-operators. “Through funding events and awareness focused on wildfire resiliency and loss prevention, communities can take proactive steps to reduce their wildfire risk.”

Applications for $500 awards can be submitted now through Jan. 15, 2021.