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11 Canadian communities receive wildfire prevention grants

April 21, 2023
By Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company

The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company announced the 11 recipients of their inaugural Community Wildfire Prevention Grants, which were developed in partnership with the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) and FireSmart Canada. Through this grant program, Wawanesa will award $150,000 to communities this year.

“We are very grateful to be chosen as a recipient for Wawanesa’s Community Wildfire Prevention Grant,” said Denise Macdearmid from the Town of Gillam, Man. “We will use the funds to purchase proper, safe equipment to complete a vegetation management project in our wildland urban interface as identified in our Community Wildfire Protection Plan. This will allow us to be pro-active and as prepared as possible while living in the boreal forest of Northern Manitoba.”

This year’s grant recipients are from communities across Canada, including Indigenous communities, rural municipalities, towns, residents’ associations, and local fire departments. The grants will go toward a range of wildfire prevention activities, such as rapid deployment sprinkler systems, home preparedness kits, wildfire buffer zones, public education, emergency evacuation planning, and more. For a complete list of recipient communities, please visit the Wildfire Prevention website here.

“Supporting community wildfire prevention is an important way we can help build a safer, more sustainable future for us all,” said Wayne Sharrah, Wawanesa’s chief claims and operations officer. “Given the community response to these grants, there is clearly a need for essential wildfire prevention measures. Wawanesa is proud to work with these communities, and we look forward to helping even more communities next year when we run the program again.”


“Wawanesa’s Community Wildfire Prevention Grants are an excellent way to get communities proactively involved in reducing their wildfire risk,” said Ray Ault, FireSmart Canada director. “Citizen involvement is at the core of everything we do at FireSmart Canada, so we are very pleased to support this initiative and look forward to seeing how communities come together to make their areas more resilient to wildfire.”

“The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction is pleased and proud to have been asked to work with Wawanesa on this important initiative. Canada has seen a doubling in area burned since the 1970s and will see a further doubling, possibly a tripling, by the end of the century. This, coupled with Canada’s growing population, means more communities will be at risk from wildfire in the years ahead. Wawanesa’s Wildfire Grant Program will not only serve to make 11 Canadian communities more resilient to wildfire, but will also allow these communities to serve as models to others looking to take similar actions. We applaud Wawanesa for their leadership in this area,” said Paul Kovacs, Executive Director, ICLR.

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