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Wildfire Recovery Task Force – Mitigate Pillar Progress Update

Implement mitigation measures with a view to improving resiliency

Wildland Urban Interface Fire Crew

Major Initiatives to Date:

  • A letter was sent to the Government of Alberta (GOA) requesting funding for the training and permanent staffing of a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) fire crew.
  • The GOA advised that a working group has been formed to develop a WUI response strategy for the entire Province. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB)
  • Fire Chief, Jody Butz, has been invited to participate in this group. RMWB Fire Chief Butz has engaged in conversations with the Fire Commissioner’s Office and is awaiting notification of the first meeting.

Ongoing Initiatives:

  • The RMWB continues to actively participate in the development of the WUI response strategy for the Province.

Quarter 2 and 3 Priorities:

  • Regional Emergency Services will liaise with the GOA to maximize potential benefits for the RMWB in the ongoing Provincial WUI Fire Crew policy review.

FireSmart

Major Initiatives to Date:

  • Letter sent to support the GOA’s current comprehensive FireSmart plan
  • Support from GOA for collaborative approach for FireSmart activities: directly through funding and resources available to Agriculture and Forestry Department and indirectly through agreements with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
  • FireSmart initiatives in Indigenous Peoples’ communities.
  • FireSmart Phase 2 fuel reduction project to continue this fall on Thickwood slope
  • FireSmart Phase 2 fuel reduction project to start in Anzac this fall.
  • Post Wildfire Hazard Assessment – Green Island Prescription contract awarded and field assessments to begin in August.
  • FireSmart sign project underway with signage being installed to identify and create awareness FS project and Education.
  • The Recovery Task Force (RTF) has secured funding from the GOA and the Red Cross to support FireSmart initiatives totaling more than $14 million. Three year budget plan submitted for review and approval.

Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Maintaining an established relationship with FireSmart Canada
  • Continue communications with residents about FireSmart projects, specifically for the Birchwood Trails
  • Participating Member of the Regional FireSmart Committee
  • Engaging with stakeholders regarding seedlings and tree planting
  • ReLeaf Plan implementation and planting. Planted over 76,000 seedlings this past spring.
  • FireSmart Community Preparedness events for Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, and Fort McMurray to take place September 16.
  • Planning for allocation of funds received from GOA and CRC
  • Developing a FireSmart Framework for the RMWB.
  • Reviewing the Wildfire Mitigation Strategy for the region
  • RFQ awarded for Anzac Vegetation Management
  • Acquiring FireSmart promotional and educational items aimed to educate residents on initiatives they can do on their own properties and for community events.

Quarter 2 and 3 Priorities

  • Implementation of 2016 FRIAA Grants
  • Continue to pursue funding for FireSmart activities from the GOA for a multi-year risk reduction strategy across all seven disciplines
  • FireSmart Education for improved resiliency
  • Anzac Fuel Modification Project
  • Green Island Prescription Project
  • Debris and burnt tree clean up
  • Thickwood Slope Fuel Modification Project
  • Gregoire Lake Estates Fuel Modification Project
  • FireSmart Sign Installation Project

Service Access/Egress Roads

Major Initiatives to Date:

  • Abasand & Beacon Hill construction access roads complete
  • Engineering awarded RFP for construction of emergency egress routes in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Wood Buffalo. Construction to begin in August.

Quarter 2 and 3 Priorities

  • Rural Egress Routes Conceptual Design pre-2018 budget for Saprae Creek, Janvier, Conklin and Fort McKay
  • Support Engineering with Abasand, Beacon Hill and Wood Buffalo Egress Routes

Build Back Better

Major Initiatives to Date:

  • The RTF has provided educational resources on RMWB.ca and have actively participated in Trade Shows and other events.
    • Facilitated the identification of vendors to provide green, FireSmart and winter build initiatives related to the build back better philosophy.

Quarter 2 and 3 Priorities

  • The RTF is seeking potential funding sources and conducting further research in relation to incentive programs to assist with a ‘Build Back Better’ philosophy associated with a WUI.
    • Mapping out tree planting areas with Municipal Parks’ staff.
    • Planning and scheduling tree planting throughout the Urban Service Area (USA).
    • Working with volunteer groups to assist with tree planting.

East Clearwater Highway

Major Initiatives to Date:

  • Council approval of East Clearwater Highway (ECH) as highest mitigation priority
  • Council approval of $5 million for pre-feasibility of the ECH
  • Letter sent seeking GOA support for ECH pre-design
  • On May 3, 2017, Premier Rachel Notley announced the GOA’s commitment to provide up to $5 million in funding to support the pre-design of the ECH.
  • Response received from the GOA outlining Alberta Transportation’s commitment to work with the RMWB to develop options for alternative egress

Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Meetings with multiple stakeholders on the ECH

Quarter 2 and 3 Priorities

  • The RMWB’s Engineering Department will continue to work with the GOA regarding the feasibility and pre-design for the ECH

Wildfire Rebuild  [Learn more]

Winter Maintenance Zones are active [Learn more]