This report recommends approval of the Municipal Forest Fire Management Agreement between Her Majesty the Queen in the right of Ontario as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay through Thunder Bay Fire Rescue.
Due to the vast expanse of forested areas within the City of Thunder Bay MPA and the risk to life and property as the result of forest fires and wild land/urban interface fires, response by the MNR under the proposed agreement will continue to provide improved safety to the citizens of Thunder Bay in the event of forest fires and wild land/urban interface fires within Municipal boundaries
Pursuant to Section 21(1) of the Forest Fires Prevention Act (FFPA), The City of Thunder Bay, being located in a fire region, is responsible to extinguish at its expense Fires within its limits. Pursuant to Section 19 of the FFPA, Report No. 2004.224 established an agreement between the MNR and the City of Thunder Bay with respect to the prevention, control and extinguishment of outdoor Fires within the limits of the City of Thunder Bay.
As a result of this agreement, for a Fire Season (April 1 to October 31), the Ministry, at its expense shall respond to Incidents and suppress Fires within the Crown Protection Area (CPA). However, where, on request of the Ministry, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue responds to an Incident or suppresses a Fire in the CPA, the Ministry shall pay the City of Thunder Bay in accordance with the terms of this agreement.
Reciprocally, for a Fire Season, the City of Thunder Bay, at its expense shall respond to Incidents and suppress Fires within the Municipal Protection Area (MPA). However, where, on request of Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, the Ministry responds to an Incident or suppresses a Fire in the MPA, the City of Thunder Bay shall pay the Ministry in accordance with the terms of this agreement.
As detailed in the terms of the agreement, TBFR has designed a Fire prevention/education program based on the principles of the Ministry’s FireSmart program. The focus of the FireSmart program is to reduce the hazards of wildfire by properly preparing property in interface areas. This process consists of managing the space around structures by removing or reducing combustible fuel loads in three specific Priority Zones around a house or building. In partnership with the MNR in 2011, TBFR staff completed significant work in a specified area of Centennial Park in order to make it FireSmart.
This agreement has been reviewed by the Legal Services Department and no significant changes were identified.