Government of Canada announces National Fire Equipment Cache in Banff National Park
Over $65 million invested in Parks Canada’s National Fire Management Program since 2021
July 6, 2023 Banff National Park, Alberta Parks Canada
Climate change is causing wildfires to become more frequent and more severe across Canada, threatening our health, economies, and wildlife.
Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the upgrading of a National Fire Equipment Cache in Banff National Park, through the construction of a new facility that will act as a central equipment storage location and augment equipment reserves across the country.
Specialized fire management equipment will be maintained in a state of readiness where it can be quickly deployed to Parks Canada administered places across Canada or shared with provincial and territorial partners through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC). The National Fire Equipment Cache will enhance wildfire preparedness in national parks and surrounding areas and will increase Parks Canada’s overall capacity to respond to wildfires.
Since 2021, the Government of Canada has invested over $65 million in the National Wildfire Management Program at Parks Canada.
This funding has supported wildfire resilience initiatives including:
- increasing the scope of wildfire risk reduction efforts with a focus on communities located within or adjacent to a national park;
- increasing the number of fire management specialists and firefighting crews; and
- enhancing the government’s capacity to train these highly specialized personnel.
Through this program, Parks Canada is increasing the safety and security of the public, protecting critical infrastructure, contributing to ecosystem resilience, and reducing or preventing disruptions to economic activity in affected areas and those at risk. The initiative is fully aligned with Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy, which lays out an agreed-upon framework to reduce the risk of climate-related disasters, improve health outcomes, protect nature and biodiversity, build and maintain resilient infrastructure, and support a strong economy and workers.
The Government of Canada invests in Parks Canada’s assets and the critical function they provide to Canadians and visitors to combat the effects of climate change, while supporting the health of our natural environment and ensuring public safety.
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“The recent wave of wildfires across Alberta and Canada has severely affected millions of Canadians. We have seen thousands of Albertans leaving their homes to flee the fires, communities destroyed, and livelihoods threatened. My heart goes out to all those that have been affected by the wildfires. The Government of Canada takes wildfire preparedness and resilience seriously and is investing in measures that are critical to protecting Albertans, Canadians, visitors, communities and infrastructure from the impact of wildfire in and around national parks. Parks Canada’s National Fire Equipment Cache will enhance Parks Canada’s capacity to respond to wildfire incidents and to support other fire management agencies when they need assistance. I would also like to thank all the first responders for their hard work throughout this difficult fire season.”
The Honourable Randy Boissonnault
Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre
Parks Canada’s National Fire Management Program is a team of professional, highly trained wildland fire management specialists committed to public safety and the stewardship of Parks Canada administered places.
Parks Canada’s National Fire Management Program is committed to building an inclusive and diverse team that supports and respects members for their experiences, perspectives, and contributions.
Parks Canada takes wildfire preparedness very seriously and works with communities, including town sites located within or near national parks, on initiatives to reduce wildfire risk.
Parks Canada manages wildland fire across 350,195 km2 of federal Crown lands, including several iconic townsites, and critical infrastructure such as the Trans-Canada Highway and railways.
Parks Canada is the only federal organization with similar roles and capabilities as provincial and territorial wildfire agencies.
As a member of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, Parks Canada collaborates with other Canadian fire management agencies to provide support to our partners across the country and internationally when they require assistance by providing equipment and highly trained personnel.
Parks Canada has provided wildland fire management specialists to support fire fighting efforts across Canada and internationally. Some recent deployments include Australia (2019-20) and Western United States (2020). Parks Canada deployed 180 wildfire management specialists in support of five provinces and territories during the summer of 2021, including a total of 143 team members who assisted with the devastating British Columbia wildfires. In 2023, Parks Canada has provided over 50 personnel and specialized equipment to wildfire suppression efforts in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Quebec.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
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