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Building Wildfire Resiliency: 4 Strategies for Community Preparedness

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

wildfire threat in BC

Building Resilience to Emerging Wildfire Threats

In recent years, the world has witnessed an alarming increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires, posing a significant threat to communities near forested areas. With climate change exacerbating these conditions, it is crucial for communities to take proactive steps to build wildfire resiliency.

By fostering collaboration, implementing preventive measures, and promoting awareness, communities can effectively mitigate the impact of wildfires. In this post, we will explore four essential strategies for communities to build wildfire resiliency in the face of growing wildfire threats.

Strategy #1 – Foster Community Collaboration

One of the most effective ways to build wildfire resiliency is by fostering community collaboration. This entails bringing together residents, local authorities, fire departments, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders to work collectively towards a common goal. Establishing a community wildfire planning committee can provide a platform for open dialogue, resource sharing, and collaborative decision-making.

Community collaboration also involves conducting regular meetings and workshops to educate residents about wildfire risks, evacuation procedures, and preventive measures. By promoting a sense of collective responsibility and engaging community members in wildfire preparedness, communities can create a network of support that is crucial during times of crisis.

controlled burn in BC

Strategy #2 – Implement Preventive Measures

Prevention plays a critical role in building wildfire resiliency. Communities must focus on implementing effective preventive measures that reduce the risk of wildfires and protect both lives and property. Here are some key actions to consider:

Defensible Space:

Encourage homeowners and community members to create defensible space around their properties. This involves removing flammable vegetation, maintaining a safe distance between trees and structures, and employing fire-resistant materials when constructing or renovating buildings.

Prescribed Burns:

Engage with fire departments and local authorities to develop prescribed burn programs. Prescribed burns can help reduce the accumulation of flammable materials, enhance forest health, and decrease the intensity of future wildfires. However, it is essential to conduct these burns under professional supervision and adhere to established safety guidelines.

Early Warning Systems:

Establish robust early warning systems to alert residents of potential wildfire threats. This can include installing sirens, utilizing emergency notification systems, and leveraging technological advancements such as mobile applications and automated alerts. Timely communication and clear evacuation plans can save lives and help communities respond effectively to wildfires.

controlled burn in BC

Strategy #3 – Promote Awareness and Education

Raising awareness and educating community members about wildfires is crucial in building resilience. By promoting understanding and preparedness, communities can foster a proactive approach towards wildfire management. Consider the following initiatives:

Community Outreach Programs:

Organize workshops, training sessions, and community events to educate residents about fire safety, evacuation procedures, and the importance of preparedness. Engage local experts, fire departments, and organizations to provide valuable insights and guidance.

School Curriculum Integration:

Collaborate with educational institutions to incorporate wildfire safety and prevention topics into the curriculum. By instilling knowledge and awareness at an early age, communities can develop a culture of wildfire resilience that extends across generations.

Information Resources:

Develop and distribute informative materials, brochures, and online resources that offer guidance on wildfire preparedness and response. Establish a community website or social media channels dedicated to sharing relevant updates, safety tips, and emergency contacts.

community wildfire education

Strategy #4 – Get Funding to Support Your Wildfire Efforts

All local governments and First Nations in BC are eligible to receive annual support from the UBCM Community Funding and Supports Program. This funding supports activities that reduce community risk from wildfire, including:

  • Wildfire Planning

  • Vegetation Management (Fuels and Prescribed Fire)

  • Legislation/Bylaws

  • Education

  • Community Development

  • Interagency Cooperation, and

  • Cross Training Structural and Wildfire staff.

At Frontera, we specialize in walking communities through the grant application process to ensure you receive the maximum amount available for the wildfire needs of your community. Once funding is received, we offer ongoing tailored support to help improve wildfire resilience efforts in your community.

Protecting Homes and Livelihoods with Preventive Strategies

As the threat of wildfires continues to grow, communities must take proactive steps to build wildfire resiliency. By fostering community collaboration, implementing preventive measures, and promoting awareness and education, communities can minimize the impact of wildfires and safeguard lives and property.

It is essential to remember that building wildfire resiliency requires long-term commitment and continuous adaptation to changing circumstances. By working together and embracing these strategies, communities can more effectively confront the growing wildfire threats to help protect their homes and livelihoods.


Frontera Forest Solutions logo

Frontera Forest Solutions is a forestry consultancy located in North Vancouver, British Columbia. With clients all around Western Canada, Frontera specializes in helping communities develop wildfire resiliency though innovative forest management an urban forestry, grant writing and training and curriculum development.

To explore how we can work with your community, reach out here.


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