Who we are
The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) is a federally incorporated not-for-profit corporation established June 2, 1982. CIFFC is owned and operated by the federal, provincial, and territorial agencies responsible for wildland fire management in Canada.
CIFFC’s mandate is to improve Canadian wildland fire management by:
• Providing timely, effective, and efficient operational support to members agencies for the enhancement of national wildland fire preparedness, safety, and response capability;
• Managing mutual aid resource sharing within Canada and internationally;
• Coordinating Prevention and Mitigation through FireSmart Canada by:
• Building collaboration among partners and the public;
• Creating informational products that are effective and culturally appropriate;
• Developing tools and sustaining initiatives that assess and reduce risk;
• Extending a risk-reduction focus across forested regions to support healthy and resilient forests for future generations; and
• Fostering continuous improvement through active promotion, development, and standardization of services to member agencies.
What we believe
CIFFC and its member agencies are committed to global leadership in wildland fire equity, diversity and inclusion and ensuring a safe and healthy experience, both physically and psychologically, for all wildland fire personnel. We will not tolerate harassment, bullying, racism or other forms of disrespectful behaviors. These behaviors hurt, undermine and divide us; preventing forward progress towards a more equitable, diverse and inclusive wildland fire community in Canada and around the world.
How we operate
There are two levels of management which direct CIFFC’s operations:
1. The Board of Directors is made up of Assistant Deputy-Ministers responsible for forestry representing each of the Provinces, Territories and Federal Government. This board is responsible for the corporate oversight of CIFFC. They set policy, approve strategic directions and fiduciary management.
2. The Management Committee is comprised of the Directors responsible for forest fire management for each of the Provinces, Territories and representatives of the Federal Government. This group prepares budgets and policies and controls the operation and expenditures of the CIFFC.
CIFFC Personnel operate and implement programs approved by the Management Committee and the Board of Directors. In addition, the CIFFC coordinates and leads Committees, Working Groups and Project Teams assembled to address specific tasks.
Funding for the Centre is as unique as its management systems. The Federal government contributes one-third of the CIFFC's base operating costs. The remaining two-thirds of the base costs plus one hundred percent of collaborative project costs are funded by the provinces and territories on a calculated model.
What we do
During the fire season, the CIFFC operates seven days a week, coordinating the sharing of firefighting resources between Member agencies and with international partners.
In Canada, these resources are shared on a formal basis under the Canadian Interagency Mutual Aid Resources Sharing (MARS) Agreement which outlines three categories of resources: equipment, personnel and aircraft.
Another integral part of its operation is the production of a daily "situation report" which provides information and intelligence on the fire situation to all member agencies. CIFFC also identifies available resources moving to and from participating agencies including aircraft, personnel, equipment and speciality items.
In addition to the MARS agreement, a Diplomatic Note signed with the United States authorises the sharing of resources for fire suppression across the international boundary. The Canada/United States Reciprocal Forest Fire Fighting Arrangement (CANUS) combined with several other exemptions allows for quick movement of resources across the international border -- essential during an escalated fire season. The CIFFC Coordination Centre maintains daily contact with the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) in Boise Idaho to coordinate resource sharing between the two countries.
The MARS Agreement and the CANUS lay out the terms under which resources can be legally shared, how they will be made available, what costs will be involved and the conditions for their return.
In addition to co-operating with the United States, the CIFFC and its member agencies have arrangements with Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa. Requests for assistance from and to these countries are negotiated on an as-and-when needed basis. The CIFFC also maintains membership with international organizations such as the North American Forestry Commission and the Global Fire Monitoring Centre.
The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers originally directed CIFFC continues to promote and improve fire management on a national level through its agreements and the development of standards and collaborative projects within its various Committees and Working Groups.
As CIFFC’s role evolves, the organization strives to become a national voice for all aspects of wildfire management in Canada. Internationally, CIFFC will continue to promote Canadian fire management technology in the global marketplace.