Community FireSmart Program
The threat of wildfire is always imminent in communities if preventative measures are not taken into consideration, planned, and implemented in advance. As more new developments grow in forested areas and new dwellings are built in natural areas, the public should be aware of and united against the problems related to wildfire. There should be an awareness of preventative actions that can be taken in advance to supplement the efforts of organized firefighting services.
Forest and prairie wildfires are capable of spreading at an astonishing rate. Crowning wildfires often spread at rates of 7 kilometres per hour, and can potentially send embers as far as 2 kilometres ahead of the fire. Wind-blown prairie fires can travel at speeds in excess of 10 kilometres per hour.
In Alberta, 50 per cent of wildfires are caused by human activity. The remaining 50 per cent are sparked naturally by lightning.
Over the last 10 years, an average of 1,300 wildfires a year have burned 210,000 hectares of forest annually in Alberta. Wildfires have forced the evacuation of thousands of people from their communities, and have even destroyed homes.
If you live in or near a forested area, you may be more likely to encounter a wildfire. The best way to protect yourself against loss, damage or injury is to practice FireSmart principles on your property.
By following the FireSmart Home Owner’s Manual, you can help reduce that risk.
A copy of the FireSmart Home Owner's Manual can be downloaded here. Home Owners Firesmart Manual
Regional FireSmart Plan
This FireSmart Plan identifies the potential risk of wildfire to the communities within the Forest Protection Area in the Athabasca County and provides recommendations to minimize that risk through the use of vegetation management, development control, legislation, public education, interagency cooperation, and emergency planning initiatives.
In 2003 supported by the Athabasca County, the Summer Villages, Hamlets and Country Residential Subdivisions Sustainable Resource Development completed a FireSmart Plan covering communities around Baptiste Lake, Crooked Lake, Island Lake, recreation areas and club facilities around Narrow and Long Lakes. This original 2003 FireSmart Plan also included the hamlets of Breynat and Wandering River.
The FireSmart plan will provide a working document to assist elected officials, municipal staff, emergency responders, land managers and local residents to plan and implement FireSmart initiatives within the communities around Baptiste Lake and in Athabasca County.
A Copy of the recently updated Athabasca Regional FireSmart Plan 2011 can be downloaded here. FireSmart Plan 2011
FireSmart Flammable Fuel Reduction - Sunset Beach
In cooperation with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Sunset Beach has completed Flammable Fuel Reduction in selected areas of the Summer Village. The proposed project is consistent with the Athabasca Regional FireSmart Plan developed by a suitably qualified consultant in 2011.
Flammable Fuel reduction was conducted in areas within the Summer Village shown on the following Map. 2013 Sunset Beach FireSmart Project