Serving Emma, Christopher, Anglin & McPhee Lakes, and a portion of the Boreal Forest Region.

Be FireSmart

The Lakeland District is special because of its remaining wilderness – to
live amid this forest, alongside its wildlife, is a privilege. But being in these
woods comes with an inherent risk of wildfire. Anyone who spent time
in the Lakeland area during the summer of 2015 will remember the grey
haze in the air, the acrid smoke that burned the eyes, the pink sun in the
middle of the day. It was an eerie time, with reports of encroaching fires
burning out of control around the province. The Canadian Armed Forces
were called in to help, plus eight other provinces sent assistance, as did
the U.S. Forest Service. Still, 1.7 million hectares of Saskatchewan forest –
and the wildlife within those forests – were lost that year.

Wildfires in Saskatchewan have only two causes: lightning strikes
and humans. According to the provincial government, about half of
Saskatchewan wildfires are started by human activity. This includes:
campfires; industrial activity; clean-up projects that get out of control;
vehicle and ATV exhaust; and arson. Human-started fires usually happen
in accessible areas, near communities and roads, which poses a greater
threat to people and property. But regardless of how wildfires start, there’s
no doubt that weather plays a big role in our ability to manage them.

According to PARC (Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative) out of the
University of Regina: “The Canadian Prairies have warmed at a faster rate
than the global average and our future climate will be outside the range
of our recent experience. Wildfire is expected to increase under climate
change. Rather than allocate more resources to suppress fire, a more
useful and cost-effective approach is to consider landscape-scale planning
to reduce the risk of fire. Saskatchewan, along with other jurisdictions,
has adopted a variety of fire management strategies to reduce the risk of
wildfire and to protect communities. The strategies include an education
and prevention program known as FireSmart. The program will reduce the
risk from wildfire regardless of future climate conditions.”

Daryl Jessop is a retired Conservation Officer and Director of Wildfire
Support Services with the Ministry of Environment, a long-time
resident of the Lakeland, and a member of the Environmental Advisory
Committee. He explains, “FireSmart is a Canadian program developed
by wildlife experts to assist property owners prepare their homes and
property through planning, preparedness, and mitigation measures to
reduce the risk of damage by wildfire.”

From: Vacationland News EAC Articles