Wildfire preparedness

Alberta's 2024 wildfire season got underway on February 20, 10 days earlier than last year, in recognition of the fact 2023 was a year like no other in the province's history. A staggering 2.2 million hectares of land in Alberta burned last year.

2024 promises to be another busy year for wildfires in Alberta and across Canada. With this in mind, there are several steps municipalities can take to prepare.

Ensure your residents are aware of how your municipal emergency management plan affects them. Municipalities are required to be compliant with certain items under Section 11 of the Emergency Management Act. How this information is best shared will vary greatly based on the size and local situation for each community.

FireSmart Alberta offers resources for municipalities and homeowners to protect property and infrastructure from urban interface wildfires. Resources for municipalities include a guidebook for community protection, directions on how to develop a wildfire preparedness guide for your local community, and a tool to assess wildfire exposure. FireSmart Alberta also puts on events throughout the province and provides training to fire departments so they can deliver FireSmart programming.

A thorough review with your insurance company should be completed each year to ensure your community is insured appropriately against loss. Most insurance companies should be able to provide you with resources that can help manage your risk of wildfire. ABmunis provides these resources to our members on our risk management site. A more in-depth conversation can be had by contacting daniel [at] abmunis.ca (Daniel Jackson), ABmunis’ Manager of Risk Services. 

For more information on how Alberta Municipalities can support your community this wildfire season, contact our advocacy [at] abmunis.ca (Policy & Advocacy) team.