WHEREAS many Alberta rural municipalities have large areas of green zone “Crown land” and white zone “developed land” within their boundaries;AND WHEREAS most Alberta rural municipalities rely on volunteer fire services as their primary source of fire protection services;AND WHEREAS volunteer fire services are mainly trained and equipped to deal with structure fires;AND WHEREAS fires on Crown land or developed land may have an extensive duration and significant associated costs for equipment and services;AND WHEREAS the Forest and Prairie Protection Act gives full responsibility to rural municipalities and the landowners for the costs of provincial assisted fire suppression;AND WHEREAS municipalities and their landowners could face bankruptcy as a result of a major fire where the province assists with fire suppression;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to amend the Forest and Prairie Protection Act to remove any responsibility from municipal districts, counties and landowners (within the white zone) for the services, costs and expenses associated with provincial assisted fire suppression.
Municipal District of Mackenzie Council reviewed the concern brought forward by a rural resident (farmer) who had been charged for fire suppression by the province. The resident had not authorized the province to assist the municipal fire services.Council attending a meeting where the Minister of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development was speaking left with the understanding that farmers would not be charged for fire suppression assistance from the province.The issue has been raised informally at previous AAMDC conventions, primarily through the reeves meeting and through questions during the Ministerial Forum, but the AAMDC has not received member direction on the issue, and thus has taken no formal action on the issue to date.RESOLUTION NO. 5-01S was CARRIED AS AMENDED at the Spring 2001 AAMDC Convention. The Resolution requests the Forest and Prairie Protection Act be amended to remove any responsibility from municipal districts and counties for the services, costs and expenses associated with fire suppression on Crown land.This Resolution is to also remove the responsibility of provincial fire suppression costs for landowners within the white zone, thereby amending the Forest and Prairie Protection Act to remove all responsibility from municipal districts, counties and landowners on developed land (within the white zone).