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Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy

Recent severe forest fires in Canada (e.g., 2003 in western Canada, 2004 in the Yukon, and 2005 in Quebec and Ontario) have highlighted the potential threat that unwanted wildfires can pose to public safety, property, and vital natural resources. At the 2004 Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) meeting, the federal, provincial, and territorial Forest Ministers identified the need for a new, strategic approach to wildland fire management in Canada that is based on a risk management framework (i.e., mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery). They also created an ADM-level Task Group (co-led by Natural Resources Canada and British Columbia) and charged them with the development of the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy (CWFS).

In October 2005 at the CCFM meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Ministers signed the CWFS Declaration, expressing their unanimous commitment to a new common vision, shared principles, and a proposed path of action to enhance wildland fire management. The ADM Task Group has also completed the CWFS Vision, which reviews the current state of fire management in Canada, identifies critical issues and trends, and describes the desired future state that all agencies will strive to achieve over the next decade.

The ADM Task Group is continuing its development of the CWFS by completing an implementation framework and is providing information to political officials and other senior decision-makers, who are approaching their respective colleagues to obtain the significant amounts of funding needed to implement the CWFS.

In 2009 the Wildland Fire Management Working Group undertook a status update for the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy and developed a further implementation strategy for the CWFS. These reports are now guiding the continuing development and implementation of the CWFS.

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