Government of Yukon


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FOR RELEASE
March 23, 2015

FireSmart projects help protect and prepare Yukon communities

WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon will provide $850,000 to fund FireSmart projects across the territory in 2015/16, subject to legislative approval.

“FireSmart projects help safeguard communities and educate Yukoners about reducing the risk of wildfires,” Minister of Community Services Currie Dixon said. “This program puts local contractors to work reducing the buildup of the brush and deadfall that helps wildfires spread in community greenbelts.”

Applications for 2015/16 funding are due by April 15. Following a technical review, successful proponents will be notified in August and are required to complete their projects by March 31, 2016.

In 2014/15 the FireSmart program funded 30 projects across the territory, including a $35,000 project by the Porter Creek Community Association.

“The Porter Creek Community Association was pleased to continue FireSmart treatments in nearby forested areas to safeguard our community and our homes,” Porter Creek Community Association president Jeffrey Marynowski said. “Through the FireSmart program we have received funding for several years already to reduce fire risk in our greenspaces. This work is contributing to the safety of our community and showing residents what they can do to protect their own properties.”

The success of FireSmart programs depends on cooperation and collaboration between the Yukon government, local governments, communities and homeowners.

“Homeowners also have a role to play in safeguarding their properties from wildfires,” Dixon added. “They can reduce their risk substantially by properly installing and permitting backyard fire pits, cleaning up dead grass and forest debris, stacking firewood away from homes, and cleaning out rain gutters.”

More than $13 million has been invested in 395 FireSmart projects across Yukon over the last 16 years. FireSmart funding is available to First Nations and municipal governments, registered non-profit organizations, community associations and school councils.

Learn more:
Visit FireSmart or contact the FireSmart coordinator at 867-667-3013

-30-

See backgrounder and appendix with 2014/2015 funding recipients.

Contact:

Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
867-633-7961
elaine.schiman@gov.yk.ca  

Mac Hislop
Communications, Community Services
867-393-7461
mac.hislop@gov.yk.ca

 

Backgrounder

  • Most Yukoners live in the fire-prone boreal forest and some areas have accumulated elevated levels of deadfall and forest debris over the years.
  • The Government of Yukon works to reduce wildfire risk near communities by supporting community-led FireSmart programs on public lands and encouraging private property owners to minimize the amount of forest debris on their land.
  • The Government of Yukon encourages rural property owners and residents living along greenbelts to use the following proven FireSmart practices to reduce the risk of fire spreading to homes:
    • Stack firewood and other combustibles away from houses and buildings.
    • Remove lower branches and space trees while maintaining as much of the natural surroundings as possible.
    • Remove deadfall, tall grasses and shrubs around houses and buildings.
    • Keep areas under decks and stairs free of leaves, needles, debris and combustible materials.
    • Encourage the growth of fire-resistant vegetation and trees.
    • Install fire-resistant roofing and siding when carrying out home renovations or repairs.
  • On larger rural properties, creating openings in forested areas can encourage new growth and maintain fire-resistant species in mixed stands of trees.

 

2014/2015 FireSmart funding recipient list

In 2014/15, 27 organizations were funded to deliver 30 FireSmart projects totalling $850,000.

 

Organization

Community

Funding

First Nations

 

 

Carcross/Tagish First Nation

Carcross

20,000

Champagne/Aishihik First Nation

Haines Junction

30,000

First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun

Mayo

23,500

Kluane First Nation

Burwash Landing

30,000

Kwanlin Dün First Nation

Whitehorse & Area

35,000

Little Salmon Carmacks FN

Carmacks

20,000

Ross River Dena Council

Ross River

20,000

Ta’an Kwäch’än Council

Whitehorse & Area

35,000

Teslin Tlingit Council

Teslin

20,000

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in

Dawson

25,000

Municipalities

 

 

Town of Faro

Faro

17,000

Town of Watson Lake

Watson Lake

30,000

Village of Carmacks

Carmacks

20,000

Village of Haines Junction (2 projects)

Haines Junction

55,000

Village of Mayo

Mayo

30,000

Village of Teslin

Teslin

40,000

Community Organizations:

 

 

Copper Ridge Neighbourhood Association

Whitehorse & Area

25,000

Crestview Community Association

Whitehorse & Area

30,000

Granger Community Association (2 projects)

Whitehorse & Area

42,500

Lorne Mountain Community Association (2 projects)

Whitehorse & Area

67,000

Marsh Lake Emergency Services Society

Marsh Lake

40,000

Mclean Lake Residents' Association

Whitehorse & Area

30,000

Mendenhall Recycling Society

Mendenhall

30,000

Porter Creek Community Association

Whitehorse & Area

35,000

Riverdale Community Association

Whitehorse & Area

25,000

South McClintock Community Association

Marsh Lake

30,000

Tagish Volunteer Fire Department Society

Tagish

45,000

Total

 

$850,000


News release #15-097