Understanding and Assessing Impacts
Situated along the north shore of the Burrard Inlet along the base of the Coastal Mountain Range, the District of North Vancouver is approximately 161 square km of land area, with a population of more than 85,000 that is perched right at the doorstep of wildlands. The threat of wildfires is always present, especially during the summer. Community Wildfire Protection Plans enable the execution of preventative strategies that reduce the risk of losses from wildfires. One aspect of such plans are special requirements for new development in locations referred to as Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Areas. These areas are characterized by certain physical features such as steep slopes, floodplains and forest cover, and coupled with their exposure to extreme weather. Permit Areas are susceptible to hazardous conditions, including wildfires. Any new development within Permit Areas is managed to minimize the risk of loss of life from wildfires, protect the forests and respect environmental considerations. Permit Areas provide municipalities with the opportunity to proactively manage the conditions that determine fire behaviour, preserve ecosystem services and ecological assets of forests for future generations, and minimize adverse impacts of post-fire hazards such as landslides and debris flows. By offering guidance for construction and materials requirements for new developments, such plans help ensure that municipalities build stronger and safer neighbourhoods.