Government of Yukon

June 8, 2016

Canadian Council of Forest Ministers reaffirm a strong, joint commitment to wildland fire management

Released in partnership with the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers.

DAWSON CITY–At their annual meeting in Dawson City, Yukon today, the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers placed a priority focus on wildland fire management. Despite their ecological benefits to forests, predicted increase in the frequency and severity of wildland fires poses tremendous risks for public health and safety, and infrastructure.

The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers agreed that federal, provincial and territorial governments have a strong leadership role to play in addressing these challenges. While many factors contribute to fire hazards and situations across Canada, ministers recognize that the effects of climate change will only increase the number and risks of more severe fire events. Given this context, it is more important than ever that governments collaborate, with other impacted stakeholders, on a strategic and horizontally coordinated approach.

"The recent events in Fort McMurray highlight the importance of a multi-pronged Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy that ensures all parties are taking responsible actions to help keep our citizens and communities safe," said the Honourable Oneil Carlier, Alberta's Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

Today, the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers unanimously reaffirmed its commitment to its established goals and objectives for wildland fire prevention, mitigation, preparedness and suppression by releasing the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy: A 10-Year Review and Renewed Call to Action. Building on Canada’s strength as a world leader in cross-jurisdictional fire response and long-term planning, ministers confirmed their shared vision and common goals of resilient communities and empowered public, state-of-the-art wildfire preparedness and response capability, and healthy and productive ecosystems.

"There’s no doubt that we’re seeing an increase in wildfire activity due to climate change. Now more than ever we need a cohesive approach to wildfire management across the country, and I’m pleased that the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers unanimously endorsed the renewed Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy," said Honourable Steve Thomson, British Columbia's Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations.

The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers also expressed messages of support for the approximately 80,000 emergency evacuees, and the owners of the nearly 2400 structures destroyed in the devastating Fort McMurray fire.

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For more information, media may contact:

Vivian Thomas
Communications Director
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Media Relations
Canadian Council of Forest Ministers Secretariat
Natural Resources Canada

News Release #16-225