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'Crushing consequences': Experts see growing risk as wildfires crash into Canadian communities

The fire department in Slave Lake, Alta., had a long-standing plan for tackling wildfire encroaching on the community, but in May 2011, flames from a nearby forest blew over suppression efforts and destroyed several hundred homes and other buildings. "I think that was the most shocking time of my entire career and maybe of my life, where you're so sure that something's going to work, and then it doesn't, with crushing consequences," said Jamie Coutts, the former Slave Lake fire chief.

Toronto expands live-fire training capabilities for firefighters with new facility and equipment

Toronto has unveiled the city's new live-fire training facility and equipment. The new facility, called the Dräger Phase 5, provides live-fire training in a multi-story, multi-fire environment for firefighters. Fires today are burning faster and hotter than they ever have before. Firefighters face challenges brought on by factors such as lightweight construction and furnishings made from synthetic materials that contribute to a growing need for investments in new and modern firefighter training facilities that provide realistic fire conditions and scenarios.

Merritt welcomes back target grazing goats to reduce wildfire risk

Merritt is welcoming back the Vahana Nature Rehabilitation and their team of more than 100 goats in June to conduct target grazing along the slopes between the Merritt Golf & Country Club and Juniper Drive, as part of the city's fire rescue department initiative. The Merritt Community Wildfire Protection Plan states that residents living above Central Park are located in an extreme wildfire interface threat area.

Cornwall puts shovels in the ground for new fire station HQ, training centre

Work on the future Cornwall fire station headquarters and training centre at the corner of Brookdale Avenue and Tollgate Road, officially began today with a ceremonial sod turning event. The new facility will provide a safe, productive and effective work site for firefighting crews. The station design reflects the department’s values and supports an inclusive environment, such as gender-inclusive living quarters, washrooms and showers.

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A fiery passion: How an admiration of fire turned into a career battling it

Yvonne Meulenbroek, wildfire crew leader in Norman Wells, N.W.T., has always been intrigued by fire. As a fire spinner in her circus community, her admiration for playing with fire turned into a career battling it. Meulenbroek grew up travelling around the world; her childhood was spent trying new experiences, in new places, while being homeschooled. “It really helped me to be comfortable with changing quickly all the time. It’s a really important part of who I am and what I do.” By Kaitlin Secord. » Read More...

Alberta’s urban interface program trains firefighters for suppression and wildland

An Alberta firefighter training program has been making strides when it comes to the integration of wildfire resources across the province. The Wildland Urban Interface Structural Protection Team program trains firefighters to be prepared to respond to both wildland and urban emergencies. By Elena De Luigi. » Read More...

Memoir shares the balancing-act experience of volunteer firefighting

A volunteer firefighter’s experience is something very different, and that is the real story Ian McLaren shares in this memoir.

Not My Emergency; The (Double) Life of a Volunteer Firefighter recounts 21 years of balancing the role a volunteer firefighter, school teacher/principal, husband and father in small town Alberta, Canada. Chief Ian McLaren recounts many of his most memorable calls, but the book is more focused on the dichotomy of trying to make the difficult transition from ‘regular life’ to emergency scenes and back again while maintaining my sanity. Some of the stories are humorous, a few of them are tragic and most have elements of both.

» Order your copy today!

Front Seat: Observing subtle dangers

A good situation report (sit-rep) from the first arriving apparatus officer can set the tone for how well a scene plays out. It is not the deciding factor for the outcome of a situation, but it is the starting point for incoming units to hear what the big picture looks like and what the first-in officer’s game plan is. The observations and decisions don’t stop with the initial size-up and our observation skills as officers should be always on. By Jason Clark. » Read More...

Search and rescue, response and the spectrum

First responders need be educated on strategies that will help ensure the rescue of an individual with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will be a success. Canadian Firefighter magazine recently spoke with Shanyn Silinski, program manager for Search and Rescue for Autism, a program with Autism Canada, on the importance of emergency services being equipped with the skills to have the best outcomes for ASD individuals. By Laura Aiken. » Read More...


Examining wildfires through a meteorological lens

BC Wildfire Service lead forecaster Matt MacDonald joins Fire Fighting in Canada: The Podcast to talk about fire weather forecasting in British Columbia, how environmental conditions affect wildfire seasons, and analyzing the science behind predicting wildfires and weather. » Listen now


MAFC Conference and Trade Show

June 1-3, 2023
Location: Steinbach, Man.
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BC Fire Expo and FCACB Education Summit

June 4-8, 2023
Location: Penticton, B.C.
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SAFC Conference

June 8-10, 2023
Location: Swift Current, Sask.
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