County and City of Grande Prairie commencing work to construct a firebreak
By CFF StaffHeadlines News Emergency & disaster management Alberta firebreak wildfires
May 16, 2023, Grande Prairie, Alta. – The County of Grande Prairie and the City of Grande Prairie began constructing the Southeast Grande Prairie Firebreak on Tuesday following an announcement by Premier Danielle Smith. The premier surveyed the damage caused by wildfires in northern Alberta, including the Dunes West wildfire.
Local contractors are creating a firebreak that, upon final completion, will reach widths of up to 200 metres in key locations, stretching 30 kilometres in length. The firebreak offers an additional measure of fire protection and fortification for our region.
The majority of the firebreak will be located on crown land, extending east from Evergreen Park, north to Aspen Ridge, and south to the Wapiti River. It will also extend south of Evergreen Park and west to Highway 40.
The initial line is expected to be completed in 14 days with a goal of pre-suppression given the emergency conditions. Expansion and fortification of the initial line will continue beyond the 14-day mark.
The Southeast Grande Prairie Firebreak is a $7.5 million project, funded by a commitment of $5 million from the Government of Alberta, in addition to $1.25 million each from both the County and City of Grande Prairie.
“The County of Grande Prairie is greatly encouraged by the investment from the Government of Alberta to support construction of the Southeast Grande Prairie Firebreak,” says County of Grande Prairie Reeve Bob Marshall. “We are pleased to join with the City of Grande Prairie in a cost-sharing agreement to contribute to this invaluable and timely project that will provide additional fortification and fire protection for our region. Our County and City fire crews, with the support of resources from across Alberta, members of the miliary, and firefighters from Oregon, have worked tirelessly and efficiently to establish a fire guard that has mitigated the loss of homes and property within the Dunes West wildfire perimeter. Together with the support of the province, the county and city will work to extend the efforts accomplished amid our ongoing state of local emergency to protect lives, property and public infrastructure.”
“City Council is thankful for the collaboration with the Government of Alberta and County of Grande Prairie for this extraordinary measure to protect public safety,” says City of Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton. “We understand how deeply these wildfires affect each of our residents, and we ask everyone for their understanding and compassion as we prioritize safeguarding our community.”
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