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Taking it into Their Own Hands: Innovative Wildfire Mitigation Measures at the Municipal Level Open Access


Other title
British Columbia
wildfire mitigation
case study
policy innovation
local government
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Labossiere, Leanne M. M.
Supervisor and department
McGee, Tara (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Hallstrom, Lars (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology )
Collins, Damian (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
Wildfires are an environmental hazard event experienced by populations and communities across the world. These events can have significant and long-lasting effects on the communities that are impacted, which makes the importance of mitigation apparent. Partners in Protection, a non-governmental organization in Canada, developed the FireSmart program and manual in 1999. This manual includes recommendations to homeowners and municipalities about how to reduce their wildfire risks. Some municipalities have been innovative by adopting FireSmart recommendations and developing and implementing their own additional measures to reduce fire risks. The purpose of this study is to explore how and why two local governments in British Columbia conceived, developed and implemented innovative wildfire mitigation measures at the municipal level. In-depth interviews were conducted with a total of 21 individuals involved in municipal wildfire mitigation (such as fire chiefs, mayors, emergency managers) across both communities. The results of this research show that several factors affected the success of these innovative municipal wildfire mitigation programs. These include: the effects of mountain pine beetle; the importance of community support and ‘sense of community’; the post-event window of opportunity; access to funding and resources; collaboration and partnership between various stakeholders; and the importance of a ‘community champion’. Limitations and obstacles to municipal wildfire mitigation are also identified and discussed.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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