Getting smart with fire safety

The City of Prince Albert plans to implement FireSmart principles into their new zoning bylaw to help reduce the risk to homeowners who live next to Saskatchewan’s northern forests. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The City of Prince Albert is looking to increase fire safety in the community with the introduction of FireSmart principles into the new zoning bylaw.

The FireSmart system is designed to help protect resident living north of the North Saskatchewan River from naturally occurring fire hazards in the province’s forests.

Larry Fremont, a registered professional firefighter and education and prevention coordinator with the Ministry of Environment, said the changes are designed to stop fires even during high-risk dry spells.

“The fact is that a lot of the (northern Prince Albert) subdivisions are backed by Pine forests,” Fremont explained. “Pine forests by their nature are very vulnerable fire wise, so there are certainly, homes on the edge of that forest that are potentially at risk.”

Fremont said residents are starting to take more of an interest in fire safety since Saskatchewan’s 2015 fire season, where nearly all communities north of Prince Albert were evacuated. The 2016 fire disaster in Ft. McMurray only increased that interest, and reminded residents of a pair of local fires in 2002 and 2010.

For the rest of this story, please see the March 11 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.