Grants to reduce wildfire risks In Kamloops Fire Centre

wildfire

The B.C. government has provided more than $4.5 million in grants to 31 local governments and First Nations in the Kamloops Fire Centre to support wildfire risk reduction initiatives and help keep communities safe.

These Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) grants 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.

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

The Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) administers the $60-million FireSmart Community Funding and Supports grant program and it processes grant applications in partnership with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the First Nations' Emergency Services Society of B.C. The next application intake opens on June 30, 2021. More information about the application process will be available on the UBCM website.