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Canadians can apply for funding to build wildfire resiliency in their communities

Dec 2, 2019
12:03pm

Groups invited to organize Wildfire Community Preparedness Day events

GUELPH, ON, Dec. 2, 2019 /CNW/ - Canadians can now apply for funding to support their local Wildfire Community Preparedness Day activities, and join municipalities from coast to coast in a national effort to reduce wildfire risk to local communities.

The Co-operators (CNW Group/The Co-operators)

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is an annual, national program, launched by FireSmart Canada in collaboration with The Co-operators, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR). Individuals, fire departments, organizations, community groups and municipalities are invited to submit applications to receive $500 for projects to help protect their communities from wildfire.

In 2019, a total of $60,500 was awarded to applicants across Canada; in 2020, 150 groups or communities will receive $500 toward wildfire prevention and preparedness efforts.

"It is encouraging to see people across the country getting together to make their homes and communities safer," said Ray Ault, executive director of FireSmart Canada. "Managing wildfire risk is a shared responsibility and 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 home and property."

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day events help people understand the importance of protecting their properties by creating non-combustible zones around their homes. Research shows that embers from wildfires can ignite vegetation or material around homes, leading to structure fires and devastating property loss. Simple tasks such as clearing needles and other debris from rain gutters can help prevent a potential tragedy.

Since 2014, The Co-operators has partnered with the NFPA and FireSmart Canada to drive wildfire resiliency efforts and advocacy across Canada.

"As wildfire seasons become longer and more severe, it is important that Canadians are aware of the actions they can take to help mitigate their risk," says Maya Milardovic, AVP of Government Relations at The Co-operators. "Through this funding, we are empowering communities to come together to take proactive steps to make their communities safer and more resilient." 

The application period is open until January 17, 2020. Successful applicants can use funding from May 2 through October 2020 to host Wildfire Community Preparedness Day events that raise awareness of wildfire risk, help protect homes, and encourage neighbourhoods to improve wildfire resiliency through FireSmart activities, including proper maintenance and clearing of dead or combustible vegetation, and wildfire-resilient landscaping.

To learn more about Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and to submit an application for funding, visit www.firesmartcanada.ca/wildfire-community-preparedness-day-2020

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; a non-profit coalition of federal, provincial, indigenous communities, private industry and municipal fire, emergency and land management experts. Through publications, programs, outreach training, and workshops, FireSmart Canada 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 $47.6 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 ranked as the Corporate Knights' #1 Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada and listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.

About NFPA
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global non-profit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. NFPA 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 our mission. Our mission is to help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge and passion. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is based on or adapted from materials provided and owned by the National Fire Protection Association, a Massachusetts, not-for-profit corporation, all rights reserved. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org

About ICLR
Established in 1998 by Canada's property and casualty insurers, ICLR is an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in Toronto and at the University of Western Ontario 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-disciplined research is a foundation for ICLR's work to build communities more resilient to disasters.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Ray Ault, FireSmart Canada, ray@firesmartcanada.ca; Julie Trites, The Co-operators, media@cooperators.ca


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