wildfire image

Photo credit: Wildfire Management Branch

Since 1964, the Wildfire Management Branch of the provincial government has engaged in cost-sharing protocols with stakeholders including First Nations, the forest industry, private landowners, utilities, railways and the federal government.

An increase in the use of services, and cost-sharing agreements, began in 2004 with the introduction of the Wildfire Act and Regulations.

The act and regulations allow a person to enter into a cost-sharing agreement, or a service agreement, with the Wildfire Management Branch where, for a fee, the branch will undertake fire control services on wildfires that would otherwise be the responsibility of the individual entity.

In 2013, changes to the agreement wording and fee structure were incorporated and a risk-based pricing model was implemented. The user-pay model is applied consistently to all agreement holders. A six-step process is used to determine annual fees, using factors like:

  • Total area in each fire weather index zone
  • Average hectares burned annually in each fire weather index zone
  • Inherent risk of burning for each fire weather index zone
  • Provincial fire suppression costs proportionally allocated to each fire weather index zone
  • Wildfire response rates determined for each fire weather index zone

The Wildfire Management Branch works closely with each agreement holder to refine their wildfire response rate based on risk adjustment factors and resource discount factors appropriate to each agreement holder’s situation.

The latest three-year contracts expired in 2016. With fire season just around the corner, the Wildfire Management Branch sent renewal contracts to landowners in mid-March for the fire season starting in April.

If your land falls within a municipal fire protection district you’re covered by your local fire department. If your land doesn’t fall within a municipal fire protection district and you’re interested in learning more about wildfire response agreements, please contact the Wildfire Management Branch for more detailed information.