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: More training is required to ensure that all Government of Alberta elected officials, communication staff, partners, and stakeholders understand and use ICS information principles as a best practice.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Engaging training subject matter experts at Alberta Emergency Management Agency to scope appropriate actions and responsibilities.

Opportunity 2: Offer Provincial Elected Officials the same required emergency management training as is required for municipal officials immediately upon election to ensure they understand their roles in such an event.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Engaging training subject matter experts at Alberta Emergency Management Agency to scope appropriate actions and responsibilities

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 3: In order to build relationships and avoid potential challenges, WMB, in collaboration with AEMA and colleagues in Agriculture and Forestry, should engage with agriculture industry partners to improve plans regarding agriculture and livestock operations during a wildfire event.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Developed a farm point dataset.
  • Organizing an emergency framework workshop for agricultural operations.
  • Organizing a tabletop exercise focused on emergency livestock operations

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 4: Explore ongoing support programs that could include post-event support and mental health services, and inter-municipal support agreements that provide work-relief for impacted local governments. This is a one government opportunity.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Reviewing current programs and support to determine if enhancements should be made.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 5: Focusing the province’s prevention efforts on the community zone and continuing a focus on recreational and residential wildfires is clearly supported by data. This can be accomplished through ground patrols, enhanced enforcement during fire bans and targeted communications.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Conducting a cost-benefit analysis of fire bans and wildfire impact projections.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 6: Continue to operate a multi-method detection network with the ability to detect and report wildfire in a variety of landscapes and conditions.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Agriculture and Forestry continues to use lookout towers, aerial detection, public reporting and a variety of unstaffed camera towers.

Opportunity 7: Establish performance metrics that measure how effective the detection network is in relation to the program area priority of detecting difficult to locate wildfires in high hazard conditions. Performance metrics should include time, cost and outcomes that support analysis of detection performance between detection methods, landscapes, and areas of risk (e.g. Community Zones).

Highlights of Implementation

  • Conducting cross-jurisdictional scan of performance measures for wildfire detection.
  • Reviewing previous performance measures and ability for current tools to perform automated analysis of the variables.
  • Scoping possibilities for performance measures.

Opportunity 8: Investigate detection options that reduce program dependency on the lookout system. Look to alternative detection methods that require less capital expenditure than that of the lookout system and that mitigate the labour regulation and safety concerns associated with the operation of the tower.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Testing technologies for wildfire detection (crowd sourcing, crowd sourcing with artificial intelligence, cameras, and cameras with artificial intelligence).
  • Conducting northeast wildfire detection project.

Opportunity 9: Work with partners to put specific measures in place to mitigate delays in the renewal of the lookout observer Employment Standard Regulation exemption when the anniversary date for the current exemption occurs.

Highlights of Implementation

  • The exemption granted for specific measures in place to mitigate delays in the renewal of the lookout observer Employment Standard Regulation (March 18, 2021).

Opportunity 10: Continue to evaluate the application and use of emerging wildfire detection technology on Alberta’s landscapes.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Documenting process for review of emerging wildfire detection technology.
  • Assess for Alberta criteria and needs.

Opportunity 11: Acquire data-informed decision support tools to optimize aerial detection routes based on historical, current, or predicted hazard conditions such that aircraft can be used in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Reviewing options for data-informed decision support tools.
  • Conducting a test pilot for fixed wing aerial detection for 2021 fire season.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 12: The two fire agencies of the provincial government (AAF and OFC) should combine their resources and leadership to support the municipal effort with training and equipment for the protection of structures. Rather than define a segmented “who does what”, the partners should discuss “how we are in this together” and focus on a quality program for all Albertans. These provincial agencies, along with a strong presence from municipalities, should stay connected and committed to building on the good work done in 2019.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Conducting cross jurisdictional scan.
  • Developing 2021 Operating Guidelines for structural protection.
  • Review Prequalified Vendors list for 2021 fire season.
  • Exploring grant proposal for structural protection unit operations.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress

Opportunity 13: WMB should adopt HRO principles and embrace it as one of its key strategic priorities to be implemented. Raising awareness amongst WMB personnel and partners of this intent, and, over time, implementing policies, procedures, and practices will support the transformation to a more risk-aware and resilient organization.

Highlights of Implementation

  • Developing a strategic document to modify policies mechanisms to support the adoption of a high risk organization principles.
  • Exploring grant proposal for structural protection unit operations.

Fully met the intent of the recommendation. Ongoing implementation.

In progress


Updated: Apr 13, 2021