Fire Fighting in Canada

Uncategorized Emergency Management
Government of Canada Announces More Funding to Build Wildfire Fighting Capacity and Enhance Training Best Practices

April 22, 2024 
By Avert Magazine


The Government of Canada recognizes that as the threat of wildfires increases due to climate change, we must increase our capacity to respond to fires, keep Canadians safe, and protect our communities. The Government of Canada has undertaken significant steps in recent years and has invested close to $800 million in initiatives directly related to improving wildfire management, including to support provinces and territories to purchase additional firefighting equipment and to train 1,000 firefighters across the country. As we approach the summer wildfire seasons, the Government of Canada is focused on keeping people safe while strengthening its capacity to support Canadians.

That is why today in Ottawa, at the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Canadian Legislative Conference, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced up to $800,000 in funding for the IAFF to deliver training and increase the capacity of structural firefighters across the country. Structural firefighters refers to those trained to combat fires within enclosed spaces, such as residential homes, commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and public infrastructure. Funding will also support Canada’s wildfire preparedness and response efforts to wildland urban interface fires, those that occur in areas where urban or developed areas meet with wildland or natural environments. Fires in these areas are particularly worrisome in that they pose substantial threats to lives and livelihoods, and the spread of thick smoke and evacuations can cause immense stress and disruption for communities. Addressing wildfires in interface areas is especially critical due to the high concentration of people living in these regions. With approximately 10 percent of the Canadian population residing in interface areas spanning 32 million hectares, the scope of the interface presents a significant challenge in wildfire management.

“Last year’s wildfire season was historic, with more intense fires in more parts of Canada than ever before,” said The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, in a written statement. “With the acceleration of climate change and this year’s wildfire season already upon us, the health and safety of Canadians remains the top priority of the government. The need for more firefighters and high-quality training opportunities across Canada is crucial to keeping Canadians safe and that is why we are continuing to partner with the IAFF to deliver what is needed to protect and preserve Canadian lives and livelihoods. I want to acknowledge and thank the firefighters across Canada who put their lives on the line every day to protect Canadians. Their bravery and work are crucial in keeping Canadians safe and protected and we are proud to support Canada’s firefighters through investments like the one announced today.”

Funding announced today builds upon last year’s investment of $400,000 in the IAFF’s Responding to the Interface (RTI) program, which provides specialized training to structural firefighters and help train 25 instructors. to deliver consistent and effective wildfire response training in Kamloops, British Columbia. Today’s investment will help the IAFF work toward its goal of training up to 325 structural firefighting personnel and will advance progress towards the Government of Canada’s commitment to train 1,000 wildland firefighters.

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Prioritizing efforts to mitigate risks and enhance resilience in WUI areas is paramount in the ongoing fight against wildfires. Collaboration is crucial in addressing the challenges posed by wildfires. By joining forces with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, and international allies, the Government of Canada continues to demonstrate its commitment to protecting Canadians and their communities from the devastating impacts of wildfires.


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