Town of Canmore – Emergency Response Plans for Extreme Heat and Wildfire Smoke

This project was funded through the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program

Town of Canmore

2023Completion Year

$79,846.69Project Cost

$76,098.86MCCAC Funding

2 RisksAssessed

22 ActionsPlanned

 DownloadEmergency Response Plan


The Town of Canmore received $76,098.86 to complete Emergency Response Plans for Extreme Heat and Wildfire Smoke. Grant proceeds were provided by the MCCAC through the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program, funded by the Government of Alberta.  

The Town contracted All One Sky Foundation to develop these two Emergency Response Plans and a final summary report.


Situated in the Bow River Valley and surrounded by the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains, the Town of Canmore offers a spectacular location and unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities.

This work was completed as part of an annual update to the Town of Canmore’s Hazard Identification Risk Assessment Inventory as part of the Municipal Emergency Management Plan. Extreme heat and wildfire smoke have been identified as the top two natural hazards for Canmore without an existing Emergency Response Plan, making these risks a high priority for action. 

The project was completed through a review of best practices for heat and smoke risk management actions from response plans in other jurisdictions. An online community survey and public open house outlined local perspectives related to heat and wildfire smoke exposure. The project also included meetings and workshops with Town and local stakeholders, which focused on: the impacts of extreme heat and wildfire smoke on wildlife behaviour and health & wellbeing of residents, building guidelines to explore potential cool and clean air centres, and emergency response planning.


The final report summarizes the research and engagement that was done to inform the two Emergency Response Plans for extreme heat and wildfire smoke. The report includes a community vulnerability assessment to identify areas within the community with the highest potential for adverse public health outcomes.

The report also establishes guidelines to assess the suitability of Town buildings to be cooling centres during an extreme heat event or clean air spaces during a wildfire smoke event. Through a review of best practices from other jurisdictions, the plan also outlines ten core elements for successful Emergency Response Plans. Specific to the Town of Canmore, the report provides 22 recommended climate adaptation measures for long term resilience to heat and smoke.

Informed by this research and input from the community, the Emergency Response Plans for Extreme Heat and Wildfire Smoke detail the key activation criteria, actions, hazards, and response protocol for the Town to execute during an extreme heat or wildfire smoke event.


The plans equip the Town of Canmore with tangible steps to take before, during, and after extreme heat and smoke events.

The project recognizes that the impacts of extreme heat and wildfire smoke will be experienced differently and more acutely by certain socio-economic and demographic groups in the community. With these response plans in place, it ensures that people who need support during extreme events will be more likely to receive it.

Extreme heat and wildfire smoke are two events that because of a changing climate we expect to face as a community on a recurring basis in the future. Thanks to the funding from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, we have developed emergency response plans specific to each event, that will allow us to support the community during these events in the future.

Mayor Sean Krausert, Town of Canmore


Read more about the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program