Grants reduce wildfire risk in Okanagan – Smithers Interior News


The BC government has awarded more than $3.5 million in grants to 26 local governments and First Nations in the Kamloops Fire Center to support wildfire risk reduction initiatives and help keep communities safe. communities.

These Community Resilience Investment (CRI) grants are part of more than $13 million awarded to 107 recipients across British Columbia following the latest intake of applications in the program’s FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category. .

Among many recipients, Vernon is receiving $150,000 to help with education, planning, interagency cooperation, emergency planning and FireSmart activities in residential areas. Spallumcheen is receiving $35,000 to help with education and planning.

“Residents of the Thompson Okanagan had a terrible fire season last year, and while some wildfires are natural, we all want to do our part to reduce the danger people face,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MPP for Vernon-Monashee. “By providing these grants to communities, we strive to keep people safe and protect the infrastructure we rely on.

The CRI program’s FireSmart Funding and Community Supports category helps fund FireSmart initiatives, including priority fuel management projects on provincial public lands and private lands. First Nations and local governments can use the money to carry out wildfire risk reduction and prevention activities, including those on public lands, reserves and private lands.

“Last year’s devastating fire season underscored the importance of implementing FireSmart activities around BC communities and, as we saw in Logan Lake, it can make a big difference” , said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “In Budget 2022, our government committed $90 million in community grants to deliver FireSmart initiatives and fuel management activities that will help protect homes and communities from wildfire threats.

The Union of BC Municipalities administers the FireSmart Community Funding and Supports program. It processes grant applications in partnership with the Ministry of Forests and the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of British Columbia. Eligible applicants facing lower wildfire risk can apply for up to $50,000, while applicants facing higher wildfire risk can apply for up to $150,000. Communities can apply for funding to cover up to 100% of the cost of their wildfire risk reduction projects.

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