Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation

There is a growing need for wildfire prevention and mitigation as we continue to move our communities further into the Wildland Urban Interface. The wildland urban interface (WUI) refers to homes and communities that intermingle with wildland fuels. This interface creates heightened risk for forest fires; therefore, as we become increasingly exposed to the dangers of wildfire, mitigation efforts must be exercised.

What is the difference between wildfire prevention and wildfire mitigation?

The two may seem interchangeable, but prevention and mitigation are separate efforts. Prevention designed to STOP fire ignitions from happening and mitigation designed to REDUCE damage and impacts to homes, business and infrastructure once a fire occurs. 

Prevention- designed to STOP fire ignitions from happening. 
Prevention is “actions taken to avoid the occurrence of negative consequences associated with a given threat; prevention activities may be included as part of mitigation”

Mitigation- designed to REDUCE damages to homes and businesses once a fire occurs. 
Mitigation is “actions taken to reduce the impact of disasters in order to protect lives, property, the environment, and to reduce economic disruption.”

What is the Wildland Urban Interface?

The characteristics of Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) fires are complex. They bring challenges and exhaust resources quickly with rapid fire spread, both structure & wildland fuels are involved, multiple structures are ignited at once, and can result in extraordinary losses and cost. 

Interface: High-density development adjacent to wildland vegetation. Clear border between the built fuels and natural fuels.
Intermix: Lower-density housing mingled with wildland vegetation. Homes are mixed with natural fuels- no clear border between the two.
Wildland Fuels- All vegetation [natural and cultivated]
Built Fuels- Manufactured structures (buildings and infrastructure)

How do homes ignite?

  • Extreme Radiant Heat
  • Direct Flame 
  • Embers/Sparks/Fire Brands

Wildland fuels and built fuels have different characteristics when burning. When the fuels combine and ignite, they create unique and complex conditions that spread fire differently than an isolated wildland fire. It is important to understand how we can live and work safely in the woods with these increased risks. 

How can I learn more about wildfire prevention and mitigation?

Please visit FireSmart Canada, or contact PEI's FireSmart Coordinator:

Emily Foster,
FireSmart Coordinator


Published date: 
March 13, 2024
Environment, Energy and Climate Action

General Inquiries

Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division
J. Frank Gaudet Tree Nursery
183 Upton Road
Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6450

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