Wildfire Mitigation Strategy

The Wildfire Mitigation Strategy has been approved by Alberta Environment and Parks and County Council. Thank you to everyone who provided input on the County of Grande Prairie Wildfire Mitigation Strategy [PDF - 9.2 MB].

What is the Wildfire Mitigation Strategy?

The strategy presents a number of FireSmart tactics to minimize the risk of wildfire in the County, or – in the case of a wildfire – reduce the risk of loss of life and damage to infrastructure. Although this strategy focuses on mitigating the risk of fire on crown and county land, private land owners may be affected, especially those with property near forested crown land.

The approach of this strategy follows closely the principles outlined in the "FireSmart Guidebook for Community Protection" published by Alberta Environment and Parks in 2013 and the wildfire mitigation strategy format shown on page 77. (http://wildfire.alberta.ca/firesmart/firesmart-communities/documents/FireSmart-GuideCommunityProtection-Nov2013.pdf)

How is this strategy different than the work that is already underway?

For the past several years, the County of Grande Prairie has been working closely with Alberta Environment and Parks to minimize the fire risk on crown land within the County's boundaries. With the continued growth in population and development within the County, the need for a more formal, approved approach to wildfire mitigation has not only increased dramatically, but is essential to all that work, live and play on or near forested land.

Who does the strategy impact?

The draft strategy recommends a close partnership with a number of stakeholders including Alberta Environment and Parks, the County, local municipalities, private land owners, community/user groups, aboriginal groups and businesses, including major industrial stakeholders.

What areas in the County of Grande Prairie does it target?

Based mainly on the Fire Behaviour Prediction (FBP) information provided by Alberta Environment and Parks for the County, seven sub-areas were identified and analyzed for fire risk. Main factors considered included timber type, topography, population and industrial and infrastructure development. For each sub-area an overall risk rating was assigned: low, medium or high. Only those sub-areas with a medium or high rating will be considered for future FireSmart projects.

How is it funded?

For the past several years, the County has received a number of grants from Alberta Environment and Parks and the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA) for FireSmart projects. These projects have mostly focused on the Wapiti Sand Dunes.

In the spring of 2014, the County received a FRIAA grant to specifically develop a Wildfire Mitigation Strategy for the entire County.