About the Program

Purpose of the Program
In 2003, after decades of fire suppression, forests surrounding our community were so artificially dense and tangled with deadfall and other fuels that controlling a wildfire would have been extremely difficult, perhaps even impossible. It was time for action to mitigate the risks of wildfire.

Since then, Jasper’s FireSmart–ForestWise Project has become recognized as a leader in forest management and a model for other forest-edge communities in Alberta and across Canada. Under the umbrella of the FireSmart program, Parks Canada, local businesses and residents have worked together to carefully thin the forest surrounding the town and outlying businesses, both to reduce wildfire risks and to restore wildlife habitat.

Mitigating Risk of Fire

We’ve come a long way since 2003. But even today, a surprising number of Jasper homes remain at risk.

The firebreak and the reduced fuels in the forest surrounding town will slow down an approaching fire, but all it takes is one burning ember to bring fire into the community. Embers carried in updrafts from forest fires can land kilometers ahead of the fire’s leading edge. An ember landing on a homeowner’s cedar shake roof or firewood pile could ignite a blaze in moments.

Worse, if the neighbouring yard contained additional fuels, the blaze could quickly spread. With the right conditions and enough available fuel, it could take just a few minutes for several houses – even a whole neighbourhood – to ignite. A blaze of this magnitude has the potential to overwhelm our community’s firefighting capability.

Have you done everything you can right in your own backyard to help fire fighters prevent the loss of your family home? Do you know how to reduce your risk?

Step up to the FireSmart Summer Challenge

During the months of July and August, the Municipality of Jasper and Parks Canada are conducting free Wildfire Hazard Evaluations on homes and businesses. A hazard evaluation will pinpoint conditions that make your home and property vulnerable to fire and will identify simple changes you can make to greatly reduce your risk. And if you have an evaluation done you’ll qualify for direct assistance from our FireSmart crews, who will help you make the changes you need to reduce your risk.

For More Information
Please contact Sam Stickney, FireSmart Coordinator, at 780-852-8146 to schedule a Wildfire Hazard Evaluation of your home and property.