Understanding and Assessing Impacts
The City of Prince Albert is the largest municipality in Northern Saskatchewan with a population of 35,000 people. Situated in a area of mixed agricultural and forested landscape, it is at risk from fires in the wildland-urban interface. This risk is only increasing as time goes on and climate change increases fire season and severity and the forest sees declining health and increasing fire loads. The movement of people into the wildland urban interface also serves to increase exposure to this risk. The surrounding Nisbet Forest is home not just to houses and businesses, but also major government facilities including an airport, municipal park, and federal correctional facility. Much of the planning for this approach was informed by the experiences of other Northern communities, such as La Ronge and Fort McMurray, that experienced a major fire in and around their community. The planners also recognized that if an evacuation of the city prove necessary then a few minutes could be the difference between life and death for its citizens and has invested in a fire identification and mass warning system.