n any given year across Ontario, tourism establishments and communities are threatened, evacuated and possibly destroyed by wildfire.
Tourist operators can do a lot to reduce risks and losses and FireSmart is a program that shows you how to do that, step by step.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM), are working together to bring an integrated approach to preparation for threats for wildfire. FireSmart incorporates the latest in fire science and helps property owners take the steps necessary to prevent and mitigate loss and damage from wildfire.
FireSmart Protecting Your Community from Wildfire is a comprehensive planning guide with practical tools and information on how communities can work towards reducing the risks and losses from wildfires.
The manual describes wildfire issues; outlines a wildfire hazard assessment system; provides solutions for managing the vegetation around structures; and provides options for different infrastructure and structural considerations; that can assist property owners in being better prepared when wildfire threatens their facilities.
This document is available from your local MNR Fire Management Headquarters or can be downloaded or purchased from: http://www.partnersinprotection.ab.ca
The FireSmart Home Owner’s Manual is a quick guide that provides property owners with information and steps they can take to reduce the risk of losses in a wildfire event. The manual deals with site preparation and maintenance, building materials, and includes a checklist for home and site hazard assessment. It is available at the MNR Aviation and Forest Fire Management website:
Forests cover approximately 85% of Ontario’s land mass. Forest fire is a natural process that has shaped these forest ecosystems. In the last decade, Ontario has experienced approximately 1,400 forest fires a year burning approximately 122,000 hectares each year.
Living and working in forested areas means living with an increased threat of wildfire, and most often a fire service is either not present or a long way away.
MNR has been helping Ontarians deal with protecting property from wildfire for many years, as well as working with municipalities and other fire protection organizations to ensure wildfire response systems are in place to respond to wildfires.
NOTO and the MNR, Aviation and Forest Fire Management Branch along with the expanding Ontario Stewardship program, are developing opportunities for NOTO members to become aware of and included in future FireSmart initiatives, so stay tuned. In the meantime, any questions regarding Ontario FireSmart can be directed to your local fire service or MNR Fire Management Headquarters at 705-945-5792
This article was taken from page 11 of NOTO's "The Outfitter" publication, Winter 2007 Issue