News Flash

City News

Posted on: October 4, 2022

Coquitlam Highlights Proactive Efforts to Prevent Wildfires

Wildland Fire Exercise

COQUITLAM, B.C., Oct. 4, 2022  The wildfire at Minnekhada Regional Park is a stark reminder of the importance of proactive measures to prevent – and fight – fires in our community.

Communities throughout B.C. have seen an increase in the number of wildfires over the past decade, and the recent incident at Minnekhada Regional Park reminds us that Coquitlam is not immune to this risk.

While wildfires are an important and necessary event in most Canadian ecosystems because they support the renewal of forests and grasslands, they also have the potential to cause devastating effects when they meet an urban area that is not fire-safe. It is for this reason that the City of Coquitlam has been actively involved in several wildfire prevention initiatives to support the safety of its residents and their properties.

Coordinated Approach and Proactive Measures Key to Fighting Wildfires

As demonstrated in the response to the wildfire in Minnekhada Regional Park, quick initial response, inter-agency cooperation and resource escalation, are crucial to supporting an efficient and coordinated fire response. Coquitlam credits efforts such as the multi-agency training initiatives held in Ridge Park last year and the Coquitlam watershed this summer for fostering the familiarity and collaboration needed in these situations.

The City of Coquitlam has also taken proactive measures to prepare for wildfires, including:

  • The Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan – A comprehensive plan to protect public and private properties from fires in forests, parks and green spaces. Building on Coquitlam’s existing wildfire prevention work, the Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan is based on FireSmart principles and outlines dozens of actions aimed at reducing wildfire risk and improving the City’s response and recovery if fires do occur. See the plan here.
  • Public Education of Wildland/Urban Interface Risks – A large portion of Coquitlam is considered Wildland/Urban Interface land, meaning that the forest meets the community in some areas. As a result, it is important to establish and maintain fire-safe homes and practice fire-safe behaviours within our community. For tips to reduce fire risk, see here.
  • Summer Fire Safety Campaigns – The City’s annual summer fire safety campaign – Don’t Let Our Parks Go Up in Smoke – lays out simple tips to adhere to in order to protect yourself, your family and our community. To learn more, see here
  • Taking a Regional Approach to a Regional Problem –  Given that wildfires don’t heed jurisdictional boundaries, the City actively pursues a cooperative approach with other municipalities and agencies – including its participation in the Northeast Sector FireSmart Program with Port Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra. The program, funded through a joint $496,900 provincial FireSmart Economic Recovery Fund grant received in 2021, has already reached 7,000 homes (2,000 more than its goal) with door-to-door information on wildfire preparedness.

Updates on Minnekhada Regional Park Fire 

For the most up-to-date information on the Minnekhada Regional Park wildfire, see coquitlam.ca/wildfire or check the City’s social media pages.

Media Contact
Jim Ogloff
Fire Chief, Coquitlam Fire/Rescue
604-927-6400
firerescue@coquitlam.ca

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