ALBERTA

Alberta Wildfire Protection Plan 'FireSmart' Approved For Bragg Creek

11/12/2012 01:37 EST | Updated 01/12/2013 05:12 EST
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Firefighters of Alcoy and Elda try to extinguish a fire in Torre de Macanes near Alicante, on August 13, 2012. One person was killed and three injured Sunday as firefighters battled wildfires across Spain, authorities said, the latest victims in a sweltering summer of forest blazes. AFP PHOTO/Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/GettyImages)
EDMONTON - The Alberta government has approved a plan it hopes will protect the community of Bragg Creek from the kind of extreme wildfires that devastated the town of Slave Lake.

Environment Minister Diana McQueen says the FireSmart plan will create firebreaks on forested Crown land near the community west of Calgary.

Some Bragg Creek and area residents had concerns the firebreaks would interupt hiking trails in the area.

McQueen says the goverment will allow some buffers of trees to separate hiking trails from the areas to be cut.

But she says the government has an obligation to manage the costs taxpayers would face to fight an extreme wildfire in the area.

The May 2011 Slave Lake fires caused an estimated $750 million in damage and another $289 million in government costs.

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