FireSmart projects approved

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Several regions in the High Prairie area received FireSmart grants May 18.

The Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta approved 34 projects valued at $4.1 million. Local projects include:

* Peavine Metis Settlement – Unit 4 – Vegetation Management: The objective of the project is to reduce wildfire risk by completing 34 hectares of vegetation management within the settlement.

* Gift Lake Metis Settlement Vegetation Management: The objective of the project is to reduce wildfire risk by completing 21 1/2 hectares of vegetation management within the settlement.

* Gift Lake Metis Settlement – Fire Guards: The objective of the project is to reduce wildfire risk by completing 16 hectares of vegetation management within the settlement.

* Whitefish Lake Residential Fuel Management: The objective of the project is to complete vegetation management treatments in FireSmart Zones 1 and 2 for a minimum of 128 structures, or about 30 hectares of area treated with the reserve.

* Driftpile Fuel Modification: The objective of the project is to reduce wildfire risk by conducting 13 hectares of vegetation management within the reserve.

Proposals for FireSmart project funding were received by FRIAA in response to a call for expression of interest that FRIAA published in January. Three quarters of the funded projects were for vegetation management, which is the practice of modification of vegetation in or around communities, which could be fuel for a fire.
Since February 2014, FRIAA has awarded $15.2 million to organizations seeking resources to undertake FireSmart projects.

“We encourage all Alberta communities to look into FireSmart grants as one measure of mitigating their risk of wildfire damage,” says FRIAA general manager Todd Nash. “We will be working closely with communities around the province to raise awareness about project funding opportunities available through the FRIAA FireSmart program.
Funding is available for Alberta communities for a range of FireSmart activities, and we want to help communities access those resources.”

FRIAA was established in 1997. The Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Forestry has delegated duties to FRIAA to promote and initiate projects that enhance Alberta’s forest resources. FRIAA administers a number of programs related to forest management in Alberta, one of which is the FireSmart program.

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