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FireSmart gets jump start with disbursement of funds for wildfire-risk-reduction

Nelson will receive nearly $150,000 to assist in education, planning, emergency planning, cross-training, interagency co-operation, FireSmart activities in residential areas and fuel management.

More than $600,000 in provincial grants has been given to West Kootenay communities to support wildfire-risk-reduction initiatives, including nearly $150,000 to Nelson.

Out of a total of $609,000, the City of Nelson secured $147,667 to assist in education, planning, emergency planning, cross-training, interagency co-operation, FireSmart activities in residential areas and fuel management.

Overall, the provincial government provided more than $2.1 million in grants to 13 local governments in the Southeast Fire Centre to support wildfire-risk-reduction initiatives.

The Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) grants are part of more than $13 million provided to 107 recipients throughout B.C. following the latest application intake in the program’s FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category.

“Last year’s devastating fire season highlighted the importance of implementing FireSmart activities around B.C. communities and, as we saw in Logan Lake, it can make a big difference,” said Katrine Conroy, Kootenay West MLA and minister of Forests.

“In Budget 2022, our government committed $90 million in community grants to complete FireSmart initiatives and fuel-management activities that will help safeguard homes and communities from wildfire threats.”

The City of Rossland received $149,998 to assist with education, interagency co-operation, FireSmart activities in residential areas and fuel management, while the Kootenay-Boundary Regional District was given $277,725 to assist with education, planning, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning and cross-training.

The Village of Kaslo received $139,100 to assist with education, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, FireSmart activities in residential areas and critical infrastructure and fuel management.

The Village of Nakusp was awarded $77,185 to assist with education, planning, development considerations, interagency cooperation and emergency planning, while the Village of Silverton spent its $95,420 on assisting with education, development considerations, interagency co-operation, cross-training and FireSmart activities in residential areas

FireSmart

The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) operates the FireSmart Community Funding and Supports program, processing grant applications in partnership with the Ministry of Forests and the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of British Columbia.

Under the program, eligible applicants facing lower wildfire risk can apply for as much as $50,000, while applicants facing demonstrated higher wildfire risk can apply for as much as $150,000.

Communities can apply for funding to cover as much as 100 per cent of the cost of their wildfire-risk-reduction projects.

“Mitigating wildfire threats is a shared responsibility of the provincial government, local governments, First Nations, industry, stakeholders and individual British Columbians. The CRI program helps increase community resiliency by funding activities that promote FireSmart education, planning and opportunities for partnerships through regional FireSmart committees,” the press release noted.

Source: Ministry of Forests