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Forest Fire Protection

Forest Ranger TowerFire is a natural element in the forest ecosystem, and many of the positive effects of fire have been recognized. However, the net effect of wildfire is negative for timber production, recreation, traditional uses, and some species of wildlife. The reduction of losses to wildfire is a key timber management goal in Alberta, and an important consideration in determining sustainable yield and Annual Allowable Cut.

Alberta Environment has a major program for fire prevention, detection and suppression. The forest industry is required to provide supplemental support in the form of equipment, training and personnel. In addition, the forest industry is assessed an annual per-hectare fee for protection. Principal fire management program activities include prevention, detection, pre-suppression (preparedness, initial attack, and hazard reduction), and suppression.

Since 1987, fire fighting expenditures have increased with a greater commitment to control and suppress fires. Most of the fire suppression efforts are targeted at the smaller fires to prevent them from becoming large, more costly fires. Budgeted expenditures for forest fire control in Alberta have increased significantly from just over $3 million in 1970 to more than $35 million in 1995.

Alberta Department of the Environment. State of the Environment Report, Terrestrial Ecosystems. Edmonton: n.p., 2001. With permission from Alberta Environment.




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