Canada commits to funding for wildfire equipment
By Government of CanadaHeadlines News Wildfires Emergency & disaster management Canada wildfire season Canada wildfires
Sept. 8, 2023, Ottawa – Canada is giving $65 million to six provinces and territories to procure specialized wildland fire fighting equipment such as fire crew trucks and PPE.
The funding comes as the country experiences its worst wildfire season in North American history.
Single and multi-year agreements have been made with Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Yukon through the Fighting and Managing Wildfires in a Changing Climate – Equipment Fund.
British Columbia and the Northwest Territories will receive the maximum available funding, the government said in a press release. B.C. is expected to get $32 million while the N.W.T. would see more than $28.5 million. Both would get the funding over five years.
With funding already flowing this year, these newly expanded agreements would provide consistent support for B.C. and the N.W.T. to secure equipment and personnel.
The agreements with the six provinces and territories build on the first phase of the Wildland Firefighter Training Fund, which put nearly $38 million towards hiring, training and retaining 630 firefighters and 125 Indigenous fire guardians in June.
The Fighting and Managing Wildfires in a Changing Climate program is a federal fund that is expected to provide $256 million over five years, starting in the 2022 to 2023 season, to support all 13 provinces and territories.
Additionally, the federal government announced a long-term investment in the WildFireSat mission, set to launch in 2029, but it did not provide details on the amount. Officials also committed to improving resilience strategies and preparedness efforts to reduce disaster risks.
Furthermore, the federal government provided an updated forecast for the remainder of the 2023 wildfire season.
Current projections indicate the possibility for increased wildland fire activity in central Canada during September, from eastern Alberta through to central Ontario.
Predictions for ongoing warm and dry weather may contribute to new fire starts, officials said, and there remains a likelihood that some existing large fires may continue to be active through September and possibly later into fall or winter.
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