Opportunities for Improvement

Opportunities for improvement are made where ideas and suggestions have been recorded or developed that would allow for some degree of enhancement in the program, in keeping with the Department's objective of continuous improvement.

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Opportunity 1: Improve the means of measuring wildfire prevention effectiveness by obtaining more specific data on the results of key activities or more specific feedback on targeted communities and demographic groups.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Improved tracking of fire origin and cause information in internal database.
  • Improved statistical reporting of fire cause and origin.

Opportunity 2: Expand the provincial wildfire prevention strategic plan to include a provincial work plan for implementation by the Wildfire Management Areas.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Provincial Wildfire Prevention Strategic Plan updated to include a provincial work plan.
  • Wildfire Prevention Area plan templates are standardized and updated.

Opportunity 3: Enhance efforts respecting vegetation management research and science to offer a rationale for established and new FireSmart applications.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Developed three year - Wildfire Management Science and Technology Plan.
  • Leverage partnerships with research organizations (FPInnovations and Canada Wildfire) to implement research priorities.

Opportunity 4: Improve the linkage of FireSmart outputs with wildfire suppression decision making by ensuring that Duty Officers and Incident Management Teams have ready and immediate access to information regarding FireSmart activities in surrounding communities.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Developing a FireSmart information management system that interfaces with wildfire information systems (Fireweb, Dispatch and AWARE, FireSmart Hub).

Opportunity 5: Promote increased public engagement and communication regarding the importance of FireSmart and the need for FireSmart to be community-driven.

Highlights of Implementation

  • FireSmart Alberta, a registered not for profit organization, was established in June 2020, with an objective of fostering an all-of-government approach to wildfire resiliency in Alberta across all seven FireSmart disciplines.
    • FireSmart Alberta is focused on fostering an inclusive approach to wildfire resiliency in Alberta.
  • FireSmart Community Series hosted bi-annually.
  • Support FireSmart Canada program delivery in Alberta.

Opportunity 6: Investigate the potential for the establishment of a standing FireSmart council representing various communities and organizations for review, engagement, education and increasing the profile and commitment to FireSmart in Alberta.

Highlights of Implementation

  • FireSmart Alberta, a registered not for profit organization, was established in June 2020, with an objective of fostering an all-of-government approach to wildfire resiliency in Alberta across all seven FireSmart disciplines.
  • FireSmart Alberta is focused on fostering an inclusive approach to wildfire resiliency in Alberta.

Opportunity 7: Investigate the potential for increased effort and funding to six of the seven disciplines of FireSmart (not including fuel modification), to ensure a well-rounded and all-inclusive provincial FireSmart program is delivered.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Province-wide delivery of the FireSmart program administered by the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA) FireSmart Program
    • Activities can range from modifying forest vegetation on the wildland/urban interface to educating residents about steps they should take on their own property to reduce the wildfire risk.

Opportunity 8: Move towards a coordinated dedicated, sustainable and predictable flow of funds to the provincial FireSmart funding program to provide a longer term ability to support FireSmart project funding requests.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Establish a delivery agent grant agreement that will dedicate funding to Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA) FireSmart Program.
  • Indigenous Services Canada Wildfire Management Services Agreement that allows AF to implement, hazard reduction burning, FireSmart, and general wildfire prevention activities on Indigenous peoples land.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 9: Investigate the development and adoption of improved wildfire detection performance indicators.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Continue partnership with FPInnovations for research in wildfire detection
  • Investigate options for improved wildfire detection metrics, performance indicators based and the feasibility of fire modelling software (2018)

Opportunity 10: Continue to investigate new wildfire detection technology.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Fourteen cameras being utilized for detection supplementation
  • Exploring opportunities for other wildfire detection technologies

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 11: Review the terms and conditions for contracted crews with an aim to increase recruitment and crew availability.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Forest Area-delivered Firetack member courses have increased recruitment into Firetack program.
  • Developed an RFQ process to aid in availability of sustained action crews.
  • Reviewed Firetack program with goal of improving capacity and recruitment.

Opportunity 12: Continue to review and implement improvements to firefighting equipment contracting practices and guidelines.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Hiring guidelines drafted and communication procedures to local contractors.
  • Updated contract rate structure for firefighting resources including helicopters and heavy equipment.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 13: Prepare communications and briefing materials to increase the level of awareness of all government representatives about wildfire and wildfire management.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Forest and Prairie Protection Act (FPPA) brought forth to Cabinet fall in 2016, amended in the fall of 2016, internal and external consultation required before Cabinet approval.
  • Participating in Cross Ministry Wildfire Recovery Task Force and Wildfire Recovery Working Group.
  • Updates policies and procedures to establish formal relationship with Communications and Public Engagement to brief different levels of government.

Opportunity 14: Expand efforts within the departments of Agriculture and Forestry and Environment and Parks to link wildfire management with planning under the Land Use Framework, Forest Management Agreements and other relevant planning initiatives.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Development of Grande Prairie and Peace River Forest Areas wildfire management plans is underway.
  • Initiated Whitecourt Forest Area initiated wildfire management plan in October 2020.

Opportunity 15: Incorporate wildfire management policies and objectives into public education and awareness communications, as part of the Department’s communications initiative.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Enhanced and standardized Forest Area communications plans completed annually with program reviews and budget planning.
  • Developed standards and templates for Forest Area communications plans.
  • Working with Communications and Public Engagement on identifying barriers to communication and development of a protocol is underway.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 16: Continue to work with other jurisdictions, through the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy and other opportunities, to enhance resource sharing, particularly with respect to aircraft.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Participating in national and international groups dedicated to resource sharing.
  • Investigating non-traditional sources of resources and procurement.
  • Ongoing discussions with the Canadian Armed Forces regarding the use of military aircraft.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 17: Continue investigating opportunities to apply an insurance approach to Agriculture and Forestry’s wildfire management program.

Highlights of Implementation

  • FireSmart Canada establish partnership with The Co-operators Insurance to implement the FireSmart Home Partners Program.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 18: Look again at the organization structure in respect to the management responsibility for the wildfire management program’s regional business services (such as finance and administration functions) and ensure that there are no impediments that complicate decision making and wildfire management program delivery.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Partnering with Environment and Parks through a Service Level Agreement to implement regional business services related to wildfire management.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress


Updated: Apr 13, 2021