The Alberta government is pumping additional cash into a program to reduce wildfire risk for communities in the province's forest areas.

The province has added another $500,000 to its FireSmart program, which helps towns pay for fire planning and education.

The 32 communities in Alberta's fire protection area are eligible for grants of up to $50,000.

More than $1.5 million has already been spent on fire preparedness over the last six years.

Sustainable Resource Development Minister Mel Knight said the program should help communities avoid the kind of disaster that occurred when a wildfire swept through the town of Slave Lake earlier this summer.