The initial line of the Southeast Grande Prairie Firebreak has been completed ahead of schedule, providing an important additional line of defense against wildfire for the region.
During the first week, May 16-23, two dozen pieces of equipment, primarily from local contractors, completed the initial firebreak. The line is 30 kilometres long and 30 to 40 metres wide, with some locations reaching 100 metres across. Despite the recent rain, equipment continues work to widen the line up to 200 metres in strategic locations.
The public and recreational users of the Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area and nearby Crown land are encouraged to continue to use caution and avoid the area, if possible, while work is ongoing. An update to the public will be provided once work in the area is complete.
The firebreak is mainly on crown land, extending east from Evergreen Park, north to Aspen Ridge, and south to the Wapiti River. It extends south of Evergreen Park and west to Highway 40.
The $7.5 million project was made possible by a $5 million commitment from the Government of Alberta. The County and City of Grande Prairie will each contribute an additional $1.25 million.
The project is timely for the region, following the Dunes West Wildfire, which displaced about 1,900 County residents from their homes. With the construction of the firebreak, people and property receive extra protection this fire season, which is key for community safety and for safeguarding critical public infrastructure.