Understanding and Assessing Impacts
Neighbourhood initiatives are crucial for ensuring the safety of individuals and properties located within the wildland urban interface. This includes public education and development of a wildfire hazard reduction plan. Research by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and others show that when individual homeowners implement FireSmart practices, such as removing flammable vegetation and landscaping with fire resistant materials, they drastically increase their property’s resilience against the risk of wildfire damage. The responsibility and cost of implementing these recommendations, however, usually fall onto individual property owners. This can be challenging for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, ill, and fragile, who may have limited capacity to contribute to FireSmart recommendation. The City of Elliot Lake, with a population of about 11,000, is located north of Lake Huron and 161 kilometres west of Sudbury Ontario. The city suffered an economic downturn in the late 1990s as a result of the decline and, ultimately, the disappearance of the mining community. Elliot Lake has reinvented itself as a community dedicated to retirement living, waterfront cottages and seasonal destinations. With the cooperation of the Ministry of Natural Resources, a subsequent Lakeshore community arose 20 minutes north of the city itself.