Governments Uniting To Avoid Forest Fire Disasters

Wednesday, October 05, 2005 at 15:20



Federal, provincial and territorial ministers have signed an agreement they say will bring comprehensive and innovative changes to the management of forest fires in Canada.


The Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy Declaration will see the various governments develop joint, cost-shared, proposal-driven initiatives they maintain could represent significant investments over the next 10 years.


The agreement emphasizes the use of risk management and hazard mitigation, but also recognizes the role fire can play in rejuvenating forests.


It proposes to work toward improved land planning and updated forest management practices, as well as increased investment in innovation, public education and community capacity building.


Federal Natural Resources Minister John McCallum says the declaration will provide the catalyst to reduce the threat forest fires pose to public safety, property and jobs in the forestry sector.


Saskatchewan Environment Minister David Forbes says because forest fires have become more frequent and intense in recent years and more homes and cottages are being built near forests, it’s only a matter of time before another part of the country is dealing with a major disaster like the devastating fires in British Columbia in 2003.