As the climate continues to warm, the threat of wildland fire is of growing concern for many cities across Alberta. Defensible space is a mitigation measure implemented at the scale of individual buildings. While provincially recognized and widely adopted programs such as FireSmart advocate for the use of defensible space, relatively few cities currently have a mechanism for enforcing its implementation. By developing defensible space land use bylaw provisions, both rural and urban Alberta communities can mitigate the threat of wildland fires by supplementing traditional landscape scale fuel management treatments and structural measures. In this study the authors examine the extent of current use of defensible space land use bylaw provisions in Alberta, and identify common elements that make for a strong defensible space provision. This contributes to literature on wildland fire planning and policy and aims to support local decision makers in the revision or creation of new policies.

The journal article can be found here

Full citation:
Muffly, J., Birchall, SJ. (2023). Key Elements of defensible space land use bylaw provisions in wildland-urban interface municipalities of Alberta, Canada. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.