Wildland fire in Canada: Communities at Risk

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Describes the need for a national wildland fire strategy for Canada

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  • Wildland fire in Canada: Communities at Risk

    1. 1. Wildland Fire in Canada: Communities at Risk Presented to Global Disaster Information Network Washington DC, March 25-28, 2004 Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    2. 2. Canada’s Forest Sector <ul><li>Environmental services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>habitat for 140,000 species </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>carbon sinks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>water quality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Renewable resource: </li></ul><ul><li>$74 Billion in annual forest product sales </li></ul><ul><ul><li>300+ rural communities in Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>361,000 direct jobs in forestry </li></ul></ul>Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    3. 3. Forest Fires in Canada <ul><li>7,700 fires </li></ul><ul><li>3.2 million ha burned </li></ul><ul><li>$0.5 billion suppression cost </li></ul><ul><li>$1 billion (est.) timber lost </li></ul><ul><li>$6.9 million property loss </li></ul>Averages <ul><li>3% of all wildfires cause 97% of the area burned and generate 80% of the costs. </li></ul>Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    4. 4. Forest Fires - 2003 Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    5. 5. Forest Fires - 2003 Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    6. 6. Forest Fires by Province - 2003 Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    7. 7. Large Forest Fires - 2003 Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    8. 8. Mountain Pine Beetle Setting the Stage Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    9. 9. Setting the Stage Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    10. 10. BC & Alberta – Aug. 21, 2003 Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    11. 11. Kewlona, British Columbia Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    12. 12. Kewlona, BC Sept. 3, 2003 Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    13. 13. 2003 Fire Emergency Impact in BC and AB were unprecedented in modern times in Canada <ul><li>300+ homes lost </li></ul><ul><li>30,000+ residents evacuated </li></ul><ul><li>Personal property damage > $100 M </li></ul><ul><li>Evacuation & Suppression costs – BC requested $200M from federal government </li></ul>Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    14. 14. Socioeconomic Context <ul><li>Fire management is the most costly element of forest management. </li></ul><ul><li>Federal government is responsible for fire research and supporting fire operations. </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre coordinates resource exchanges </li></ul><ul><li>Provinces, Territories, and Parks Canada are responsible for fire management </li></ul><ul><li>Municipalities are responsible for fire suppression in rural and urban areas. </li></ul>Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    15. 15. <ul><li>Recent Incidents </li></ul><ul><li>Kelowna/Barriere, BC (2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Hillcrest/Blairmore, AB (2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Turtle Lake, SK (2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Chisholm, AB (2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Burwash Landing, YK (1999) </li></ul><ul><li>La Ronge, SK (1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Beardmore, ON (1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Shelburne County, NS (1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Badger, NF (1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Salmon Arm, BC (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Swan Hills, AB (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Granum, AB (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>Timmins, ON (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>Affect thousands of Canadians each year </li></ul><ul><li>Significant social and economic impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Potential for lost of life is rising </li></ul>Wildland-Urban Interface Fires Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    16. 16. Climate Change Impacts Increasing fire activity is expected <ul><li>Longer fire season </li></ul><ul><li>More severe fire weather </li></ul><ul><li>More and larger fires </li></ul><ul><li>More extreme fire behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>More escape wildfires </li></ul><ul><li>Increased fire impacts </li></ul>Annual Area Burned (%) 1959-99 Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    17. 17. Socioeconomic Trends Population growth in wildland-urban interface (more lives and property will be at risk) Increased smoke impact on health ( smoke will become a greater problem in large urban centers) Greater costs / losses (suppression, evacuation, compensation, rehabilitation) Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    18. 18. The Need Develop innovative processes and relationships among all stakeholders based on joint risk management Analyse the complex interactions between wildland fire, communities, the forestry sector, and government. Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    19. 19. <ul><li>Policies to balance social, economic, and ecological impacts of fire </li></ul><ul><li>Role of various stakeholders in forest fire management </li></ul><ul><li>Social and economic costs of forest fires </li></ul><ul><li>Adequacy of existing infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing the risk of wildland-urban interface fires </li></ul><ul><li>Hazard mitigation to proactively reduce wildfires risk </li></ul>Considerations Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    20. 20. <ul><li>Environment Scan - policies, practices, infrastructure, state of the art </li></ul><ul><li>Assess vulnerability - number of communities/citizens at risk </li></ul><ul><li>Forecast future trends - forest fire activity and impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Economic evaluation – costs, losses, compensation, rehabilitation, </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate hazard mitigation and risk management strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Initiate dialogue on stakeholder roles </li></ul>An Approach Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts
    21. 21. In Conclusion…. A joint risk management approach would address the growing complexity and uncertainty of forest fire management. Natural Resources Canada Ressources naturelles Canada Canadian Forest Service Service canadien des for ê ts

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