Canadian Underwriter

ICLR to host webinar on Canadian wildland fire interface maps

January 30, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) will be hosting its next Friday Forum webinar on Canadian wildland fire interface maps on Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. to 11:30 am EST.

A wildfire moves towards the town of Anzac from Fort McMurray, Alta., on Wednesday May 4, 2016. An assessment of the total financial impact of last spring’s Fort McMurray wildfire is pegging the direct and indirect costs of the blaze at almost $10 billion.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The webinar, titled Canadian wildland fire interface maps: Tools for wildland fire protection of our communities, industries, and infrastructure, will feature Lynn Johnston, a forest fire research specialist with the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The workshop is based on Johnston’s Master’s thesis, which provided “a first national map of interface areas in Canada (i.e. where human-built structures and potentially burnable land meet),” said information from ICLR.

Johnston will review wildland fire as a threat to Canadians and will also provide details of recent research into mapping locations across the country where communities, industry or infrastructure have the potential to be at risk from wildland fire (known as “interface” areas).

Johnston has worked with CFS since 2007 on a variety of wildland fire topics, including fire behaviour, fire risk, and fire and climate change. She recently completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Alberta in forest biology and management, focusing on wildland fires.

Such fires have the potential to destroy communities, industrial buildings and critical infrastructure and they also put human lives at risk, the ICLR information noted. Wildland firefighting aims to prevent these destructive events, but not all fires can be controlled. Two recent Alberta wildfire events, Slave Lake in 2011 and Fort McMurray in 2016, resulted in significant destruction with direct costs of over $1 billion and $4 billion, respectively.

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