Home » $1.4M in grants issued to reduce wildfire risks in southeast

Posted: June 30, 2021

$1.4M in grants issued to reduce wildfire risks in southeast

$1,410,421 coming to nine East Kootenay local governments

The B.C. government today announced it is providing more than $2.8 million in grants to 15 local governments and First Nations in the Southeast Fire Centre to support wildfire risk reduction initiatives and help keep communities safe.

These Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) grants, coming to nine East Kootenay local governments, are part of a total of more than $15 million provided to 118 recipients throughout B.C., following the latest application intake in the program’s FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category.

“Mitigating wildfire threats is crucial to help safeguard people, homes and businesses throughout the province,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Since the Community Resiliency Investment program was established in 2018, our government has approved 366 grants to local governments and First Nations totalling over $37 million.”

Funding provided through CRI’s FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category helps Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments reduce wildfire risks around their communities. Recipients can use the money for wildfire risk reduction and fire prevention activities related to the FireSmart program’s nine eligible funding areas:

* education;

* vegetation management (reducing accumulations of flammable materials on the landscape);

* community planning;

* development considerations (looking at ways that local governments could regulate development to incorporate FireSmart principles);

* inter-agency co-operation;

* FireSmart training and cross-training;

* emergency management planning;

* FireSmart projects for critical infrastructure;

* FireSmart activities for residential areas.

Eligible applicants facing a lower wildfire risk can apply for up to $50,000 through the FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category, while applicants facing a demonstrated higher wildfire risk can apply for up to $150,000. They can apply for funding to cover up to 100% of the cost of their wildfire risk reduction projects.

The approved local applications within the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction:

* ʔAkisq̓nuk First Nation: $82,710 to assist with education, inter-agency co-operation, fuel management;

* ʔAq̓am: $125,295 to assist with education, planning, inter-agency co-operation, fuel management;

* City of Cranbrook: $150,000 to assist with education, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, FireSmart for residential areas, fuel management;

* City of Kimberley: $150,000 to assist with education, FireSmart for residential areas, fuel management;

* District of Elkford: $237,149 to assist with education, fuel management;

* District of Invermere: $149,982 to assist with education, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, cross-training, FireSmart demo projects, FireSmart for residential areas;

* Regional District of East Kootenay: $441,535 to assist with education, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, cross-training, FireSmart for residential areas;

* Village of Canal Flats: $69,950 to assist with education, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, FireSmart for residential areas;

* Village of Radium Hot Springs: $3,800 to assist with education, FireSmart for residential areas.

The funds will enable local governments to better attack FireSmart initiatives.

“ʔaq̓am has been able to secure funding through the CRI program and then leverage it further to complete some larger-scale wildfire protection projects within our community. With this increased capacity, we are now able to look at a maintenance program for treatments that previously felt unobtainable,” said Julie Couse, ?Aq’am director of lands and natural resources.

Lead image: Ongoing thinning work in the Gold Creek forest lands south of the City of Cranbrook.  e-KNOW file photo

e-KNOW


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