Ontario cities make list for municipalities most at-risk of wildfires

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Published May 28, 2024 at 4:14 pm

Wildfire Risk 2024 Head

Ontario may be a healthy distance away from regions with the highest density of wildfires but that does not exclude it completely from being at-risk. In fact, according to a recent report by the insurance organization My Choice Financial, several Ontario cities fall into Canada’s top 20 municipalities in danger of wildfire impact. 

According to the report, Canada experienced 5,475 wildfires in 2023 alone, equalling roughly 17,347,637 hectares of land scorched — the highest in 40 years. To measure cities at potential risk, My Choice utilized data supplied by the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System to better understand conditions that lead to wildfire severity.  

The score for each municipality was established by combining the equally weighted averages of the two metrics from May to September — the height of the wildfire season —  to get the most accurate analysis of wildfire risk in the corresponding areas. 

2024-Wildfire-List

According to data from the study, the areas with the highest risk for wildfire impact were cities in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. As for the top Canadian cities on the pathway of potential wildfire damage, Kamloops, Regina and Regina take the podium respectively. 

Even though they are at the bottom of the list, Ontario locations were not excluded from being at-risk of wildfire impact completely. 

Ontario municipalities that made the list include:

  • Timmins
  • Kenora
  • Sault Ste Marie 
  • Barrie
  • Sudbury 
  • Gravenhurst

According to information provided by My Choice, certain regions in the US have seen insurance providers pull out of high-risk areas due to the relentless severity of wildfires, such as California. 

Aren Mizaian, the CEO of My Choice Financial, provided some insight on whether organizations in Canada may follow suit by stating in an official release, “In Canada, the insurance market has shown resilience, and we have not yet reached the point where insurers are withdrawing coverage. However, the unprecedented scale of wildfires last year is a clear warning signal.”

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