NIFSC creates digital wildfire preparedness tool
By CFF StaffHeadlines News Wildfires Emergency & disaster management Indigenous digital tool fire safety wildland urban interface
Sept. 11, 2023, Canada – The National Indigenous Fire Safety Council (NIFSC) released a new digital aid to help communities better prepare for and manage their wildland fire risk.
The new Wildland Urban Interface Community Preparedness Digital Tool identifies 18 distinct roles within the community and outlines what each need to do before, during and after a wildfire.
The tool, which can be accessed from a cell phone or desktop computer, uses a graphic format that groups related roles together and icons illustrated by Anishinaabe Onyota’a:aka artist Tsista Kennedy.
Roles include residents, local leaders, emergency operations and responders such as local fire departments, paramedics, police, wildland firefighters, evacuation centres and environment, agriculture, health, and transportation advisors.
The platform is based on a research study the NIFSC commissioned from the University of Waterloo. The goal was to review existing knowledge, resources, guidelines, practices, and management approaches to understand the specific threats of fire, and to develop a preliminary wildland urban interface fire safety and response network, along with best practices and implementation strategies.
The report drew on case studies, reports, government document and other available data for First Nations on-reserve populations. Cases studied included the 2011 fires in Sandy Lake First Nation, Whitefish Lake First Nation, and Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation, as well as the Dene Tha’ First Nation fire in 2016.
The NIFSC tool is available here.
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