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Wildfire Resilient Futures Initiative

Researchers conducting post-fire field work. Photo credit: Ellen Whitman (CFS wildfire scientist).

The Wildfire Resilient Futures Initiative (WRFI) invests in new programs and activities to reduce wildland fire risk in our communities and landscapes.

About the initiative

Starting in 2023-24, Natural Resources Canada will implement programs and activities up to $285 million over 5 years under the WRFI. This is an initiative within the Government of Canada Adaptation Action Plan, in support of the National Adaptation Strategy, launched on June 27, 2023.

All over the world, more frequent and severe wildland fires are a trend largely driven by our changing climate. Fire experts state that Canada will continue to experience longer fire seasons, larger and more intense fire events, and extreme fire weather. This will increase wildland fire risk to people, communities, and businesses in forested areas.

The WRFI supports activities to transform the way Canada manages wildland fire, recognizing that we need to take proactive steps to prepare for wildfires and to reduce risks before they occur.

This initiative is designed to mobilize and bring together all orders of government, Indigenous peoples, public and private sectors, academia and individuals to participate and coordinate efforts to effectively live safely within wildland fire prone areas. The WRFI is delivered through 3 interrelated activities.

1. Resilient communities through FireSmart

In collaboration with provinces and territories, this program will provide up to $150.7 million to support a whole-of-society approach to enhance wildland fire prevention and mitigation efforts and to expand the adoption of FireSmartTM Canada.

Funding will support capacity building, including support for:

  • establishing inclusive governance structures
  • training dedicated prevention and mitigation practitioners, and
  • community-based wildfire prevention and mitigation projects

2. Build and mobilize foundational wildland fire knowledge

WRFI will invest $48 million over 4 years to support collaborative mission-oriented research projects, demonstration sites and mobilize Indigenous fire knowledge. These investments will accelerate the development and adoption of risk assessment and mitigation approaches and innovative, adaptive forestry practices. The aim is to reduce wildfire risk to communities and support a sustainable and resilient forest sector.

A contribution program will provide non-repayable contributions to support collaborative research projects and demonstration sites. Building on an existing foundation of wildfire research, emphasis will be placed on fostering new collaborations and partnerships among researchers, decision makers, the forest industry, Indigenous and forest-based communities, government, and non-government organizations.

A grant program will provide non-repayable grants to Indigenous-led projects that support the development of resources and dissemination of knowledge by and for Indigenous communities. This includes activities to strengthen community readiness and explore ways to develop cultural practices and fire-management knowledge among Indigenous communities.

The launch of a multi-year call for proposals is planned for spring 2024. Read more about the launch here.

3. Accelerating excellence in wildland fire innovation and resilience

WRFI will invest $11.75 million over 5 years to establish a national Centre of Excellence with a focus on accelerating the uptake of innovations in technology, enhancing knowledge mobilization, and supporting Indigenous fire science and cultural use of fire.

The centre will serve as a national and international resource, where partners and rightsholders can connect, collaborate, communicate, and share knowledge that will accelerate the advancement of wildland fire response, preparedness, prevention, and mitigation actions.

A call for proposals is planned for summer 2024 with an expected launch of a centre by fall 2024.

Please register here to receive updates about the call for proposals and to be notified of any upcoming information sessions.

Contact us

To request more information or if you have any questions, email the WRFI team.

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