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Alberta to boost spending on program to help protect communities from wildfires

The Alberta government says it will spend $45 million over the next three years to help protect communities from wildfires.
The Alberta government says it will spend $45 million over the next three years to help protect communities from wildfires. Courtesy, Alberta government

The Alberta government says it will spend $45 million over the next three years to help protect communities from wildfires.

The funding will be available to municipalities that want to set up a FireSmart program that includes clearing trees and brush away from homes and buildings.

READ MORE: $6.5M cut from Alberta Environment’s Firesmart program

FireSmart also helps communities develop an emergency plan that can be used if there is a serious wildfire and raises awareness about where homes and buildings should be built.

Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier says the $15 million annually in funding is up from $3.8 million last year.

READ MORE: Alberta hopes increased fines will help bolster wildfire prevention

Carlier made the announcement in the city of Fort McMurray, which is still recovering from a raging wildfire last May that forced more than 80,000 people to flee.

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The wildfire destroyed more than 2,400 homes and other buildings and had an estimated financial impact of almost $8.6 billion.