The Banff Fire Department will be hard at work this summer completing over 50 hectares of wildfire prevention work within the Banff townsite.
The Town of Banff has received an $86,000 grant from the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA). This provincially funded grant will be used by the Banff Fire Department for wildfire prevention.
This process involves removing brush, thinning ground coverage and trimming trees to 6 feet. These steps will help mitigate the spread of a wildfire if one enters the area. They will focus on 50 hectares within the town site. These areas were last treated between 2006 – 2008 and are ready for maintenance. This grant also allows another 1.5 hectares of new treatment area surrounding The Fenlands Recreation Centre. Debris piles will be burned in early winter when conditions are appropriate.
“Maintaining our fuel treated areas is extremely important. We are surrounded by forests here in Banff and we need to take the appropriate precautions” said Silvio Adamo, Fire Chief of the Banff Fire Department. “This is a very timely grant. We have seen, with Fort McMurray, just how devastating a wildfire can be to a town and this work will be a great addition to our ongoing fire smart initiatives.”
“We and our partners at Parks Canada take the threat of wildfire very seriously, and this funding allows us to add another great project to increase our wildfire preparedness. Still, we encourage residents to learn about being fire smart” Adamo noted. Residents should look around their homes and ensure there are no branches touching their homes or decks, gutters and roofs are clean from conifer needles, combustibles are properly stored and tree limbs are trimmed to 6 feet from the ground.
The Town also received a $3,000 grant from ATCO this year. It is being used for equipment to improve the wildfire sprinkler trailer.
Visit firesmartcanada.ca for more information. The Banff Fire Department will also be hosting an open house in late June to inform residents on emergency preparedness, evacuation procedures and more. Check banff.ca/events for updates.