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Community groups across the country pitch in to build resilience on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day in Canada

May 4, 2017
9:10am

EDMONTON, May 4, 2017 /CNW/ - One year ago this week, Canadians were shocked and saddened to see the devastating effects of the wildfire in Fort McMurray. The tragedy reinforced the importance of taking proactive measures to reduce the risk of wildfire and other hazards. On Saturday, community groups across the country will take action to do just that, as they take part in the third annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (WCPD) in Canada.

Partners in Protection Association/FireSmart Canada, in collaboration with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) and The Co-operators provided funding for 20 projects across the country as part of WCPD. The governments of Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Alberta and the Northwest Territories provided funding for an additional 14 projects.

Activities include clearing leaves and other combustible debris from around property, working with neighbours to get a chipper service to remove slash, and distributing wildfire safety information.

"It is encouraging to see people across the country getting together to make their homes and communities safer," said Kelly Johnston, executive director of FireSmart Canada. "Managing wildfire risk is a shared responsibility. Government policy-makers, planners and developers all play important roles, but today the spotlight is on individual property owners and communities. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day projects show that simple things like clearing brush and moving combustible material away from your home can make a real difference in protecting your loved ones and property."

To learn more about National Wildlife Community Preparedness Day in Canada, including what you can do to protect your property from wildfire, and for a list of projects, please visit www.firesmartcanada.ca.

About FireSmart Canada
FireSmart Canada is the go-to national program committed to helping Canadians reduce their wildfire risk and become fire adapted through community-based solutions.  FireSmart is administered by Partners in Protection Association; a non-profit coalition of federal, provincial, first nations', private industry and municipal fire, emergency and land management experts. Through publications, programs, outreach training, and workshops, FireSmart provides tools for Canadians to become pro-active in reducing the risk of wildfire to their homes and communities. FireSmart programs and products are supported through membership and ongoing active support from organizations such as the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, the National Fire Protection Association and The Co-operators. For more information on FireSmart visit www.firesmartcanada.ca .

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $44 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.

About the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction:
Established in 1998 by Canada's property and casualty insurers, ICLR is an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in Toronto and at Western University in London, Canada. ICLR is a centre of excellence for disaster loss prevention research and education. ICLR's research staff is internationally recognized for pioneering work in a number of fields including wind and seismic engineering, atmospheric sciences, water resources engineering and economics. Multi-discipline research is a foundation for ICLR's work to build communities more resilient to disasters. Visit www.iclr.org.

About the National Fire Protection Association:
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, non-profit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org.  All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Kelly Johnston, RPF, Executive Director, Partners in Protection Association, 250-319-0494, execdirector@firesmartcanada.ca; Leonard Sharman, Senior Advisor, Media Relations, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937, leonard_sharman@cooperators.ca; Glenn McGillivray, Managing Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, 416-364 8677, gmcgillivray@iclr.org; Shayne Mintz, Canadian Regional Director, National Fire Protection Association, 705-812-2924, smintz@nfpa.org


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