News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 4, 2019


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Today is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

The Manitoba government commends the City of Thompson for being the first Manitoba community to complete a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and encourages other communities to make the same commitment, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen, minister responsible for the Office of the Fire Commissioner, and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Wildfire is an ever-present threat to many of our communities and can cause significant damage to property and natural resources,” Pedersen said.  “We all need to be aware of these risks, and take every step we can to protect our communities and lands.”

The City of Thompson recently completed a two-part CWPP with assistance from the Manitoba Wildfire Program and the Office of the Fire Commissioner using FireSmart Canada’s guiding documents.  Thompson’s CWPP (Part 1) was developed to ensure an organized pre-planned response to active wildfire threats.  The Wildfire Mitigation Strategy (Part 2) is a proactive community protection response for the implementation of FireSmart concepts including vegetation management, public education and community development options.

“We are pleased to see these steps taken to address the risk that fire poses to northern communities,” Squires said.  “Our fire program is ready to respond to forest fires but we cannot always prevent them.  That’s why we want more communities to follow Thompson’s lead and be better prepared against the risk of wildfire.”

As the first Manitoba community to complete a CWPP, Thompson’s plan can be used as a template for other communities.  Elements of the plan include steps to reduce the risk of fire approaching a community, quick access to information such as a list of structures that would be targeted for sprinklers, identifying staging areas and shelters, and clearly defined roles of responding agencies.

“We’re extremely proud of the partnerships we built through the Community Wildfire Protection Plan,” said Chief Mike Bourgon, Thompson Fire and Emergency Services.  “Events across the country over the last few years have shown that a wildfire prevention plan is essential to the safety of Thompson and its residents, especially given our location in the heart of the boreal forest.  The plan will be regularly updated as Thompson changes and we learn new methods for keeping our residents safe.”

Manitoba spends millions of dollars every year fighting wildfires that damage and disrupt communities.  Wildfire mitigation and prevention are critical components to wildfire management and community protection.  All Manitobans are encouraged to prepare for wildfire by implementing FireSmart concepts around their homes and communities. 

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