Alberta invests in projects to protect communities from wildfire
Budget 2014 allocates $31 million in 2014-15 and a total of $115 million over the next three years as part of a long-term commitment to address the 21 recommendations of the Flat Top Complex Wildfire Review. Over one third of the dollars will be directed towards FireSmart projects, including tree thinning and removal work around communities.
Other initiatives will include enhancing emergency response planning, hiring additional firefighters for a longer duration, and public education efforts in forested regions.
“Learning from disasters is important and the knowledge we gained from the Slave Lake wildfire is being put into practice. Our government is taking action to protect both our communities and our forests," says Robin Campbell, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
The $31 million in this year’s budget follows an investment of $18 million to respond to Flat Top Complex Wildfire Review recommendations in 2013-14.
“The FireSmart Program delivers significant benefits to Alberta communities at risk—anything we can do related to wildfire prevention and mitigation is critical,” says Todd Nash, Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA) General Manager
In 2013-14, FRIAA administered $4.5 million in grants for 19 municipal FireSmart projects on behalf of the province.
Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.