The Government of British Columbia has announced an additional $10 million in provincial funding to support communities in their recovery from the 2018 wildfire season.
These funds will be distributed through an agreement with the Canadian Red Cross.
This new funding is in addition to $3.1 million raised through eligible public and Province-matched Red Cross donations, along with other public donations, to support communities impacted by the 2018 wildfire season.
“While the fires are now out, British Columbians can rest assured that government support will be sustained,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and the Solicitor General. “Our province is facing a long-term and complicated recovery process for the second year in a row, and the effects to communities and local economies that were impacted by the 2018 wildfire season have been significant. These funds will go a long way to helping wildfire victims get back on their feet.”
This funding will be used to carry out relief, recovery and resiliency efforts and activities for individuals and families affected by the 2018 wildfire season, including:
- debris removal on private land and repair and reconstruction related to uninsured damages caused by 2018 wildfires
- refrigerator and freezer disposal and replacement
- alternative heating source supplies (e.g. firewood)
- other operational costs such as labour, travel expenses and project equipment
- health and wellness supports
Assistance will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will not duplicate assistance provided through insurance, government or other agency programs. The priority for funding will continue to be individuals and families who are most vulnerable.
“Many parts of the province were heavily impacted by wildfires this past summer, and communities and businesses need our support as they re-establish their lives and livelihoods,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “Our government has been working diligently to ensure the immediate critical needs in impacted communities have been met and this additional funding can now help wildfire victims through the next stage of their recovery.”
As part of its ongoing assistance, the Canadian Red Cross will be providing additional support to assist with longer-term needs as individuals and communities continue in their recovery.
“With the support of generous British Columbians, and in close collaboration with the government, we are pleased to provide further recovery assistance for people impacted by the 2018 B.C. fires,” said Kimberley Nemrava, Canadian Red Cross vice-president for British Columbia and Yukon. “Our outreach teams have been supporting people in fire-affected communities and our primary focus will be to extend support for them. We will work as quickly as possible and will reach out directly to individuals and families already registered with the Red Cross in the weeks ahead.”