A fire break is created where forest once was at the Dunes West Wildfire in the County of Grande Prairie, Alta. on Friday, May 12, 2023. The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GPREP) showed some the firefighting efforts of fire crews from across the country. (Photo by Jesse Boily) Jesse Boily

A $7.5 million 30-km firebreak is being constructed south of Grande Prairie.

The province is footing much of the bill with $5 million; the city and county are each adding $1.25 million.

“We are pleased to join with the City of Grande Prairie in a cost-sharing agreement to contribute to this invaluable and timely project that will provide additional fortification and fire protection for our region,” said Bob Marshall, County of Grande Prairie reeve. 

The firebreak announcement came after the Premier Danielle Smith toured local wildfires last week, including the Dunes West fire. 

Construction on the firebreak began Tuesday, May 16.

It will be up to 200 metres wide in crucial locations. 

A joint media release from the county and city says the firebreak will offer an additional measure of fire protection and fortification for the region. 

Most of the firebreak will be located on Crown land, east of Evergreen Park and north to the Aspen Ridge subdivision while extending south of Evergreen Park to the Wapiti River to Hwy. 40. 

Marshall said fireguards helped mitigate the loss of homes during the Dunes West fire. 

City Mayor Jackie Clayton said she is thankful for the collaboration in protecting public safety.

“We understand how deeply these wildfires affect each of our residents, and we ask everyone for their understanding and compassion as we prioritize safeguarding our community,” she said.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the month, with additional expansion and fortification expected in the later months. 

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 25, 2023 at 13:17

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta
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