Canada funds new firefighter urban interface training program
By CFF StaffHeadlines News Wildfires Emergency & disaster management firefighter training wildland urban interface
Aug. 14, 2023, Canada – A pilot project through the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) will receive $400,000 in funding from the federal government to bolster training in the battle against wildland urban interface fires.
The first phase of the program, which focuses on training urban firefighters, will also see 15 courses delivered at five locations across Western Canada to train up to 325 structural firefighters on wildland urban interface techniques.
Through the IAFF’s Responding to the Interface program, the organization will train 25 instructors on how to deliver consistent and effective wildfire response training through a Cadre Building training program in Kamloops, B.C.
The pilot project will inform best practices and share recommendations for the future delivery of wildland firefighter training in advance of the second phase of the Fighting and Managing Wildfires in a Changing Climate Training Fund, which is set to launch in 2024.
The federal government previously announced it would train 1,000 new wildland firefighters over five years, as well as provide funding to train 300 Indigenous firefighters and 125 Indigenous fire guardians.
Recent government projections indicate a continued potential for higher-than-normal fire activity across most of the country throughout the 2023 wildland fire season.
This is due to long-range forecasts for warm temperatures and ongoing drought, which are affecting parts of all provinces and territories and intensifying in some regions.
This year’s wildfire season saw major blazes force evacuations in the suburbs of Halifax, as well as in towns such as Lebel-sur-Quevillon in Quebec and Fort St. John and Osoyoos in British Columbia.
Four firefighters have died on the job this summer while battling blazes in B.C., Alberta, and the Northwest Territories.
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