The B.C. government has allocated another $324,571 in Community Resiliency Investment program grants to seven local governments and First Nations communities in the Coastal Fire Centre to help support wildfire risk reduction projects.
These grants are part of a second round of 44 grants distributed provincewide from the program’s first application intake. They are in addition to the more than $6 million in funding provided to 85 municipalities, regional districts and First Nations throughout British Columbia in May 2019.
The total number of Community Resiliency Investment program grants allocated provincewide to date is 129, amounting to more than $9.8 million. (See the list of new grant recipients distributed within the Coastal Fire Centre in the attached backgrounder.)
“The last two summers have shown the need for better preparation in advance of wildfire seasons,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “To help keep people and communities as safe as possible, it’s more important than ever that we invest in programs that reduce the risk.”
The B.C. government has committed $60 million to the Community Resiliency Investment program to help local governments and First Nations reduce the risk of wildfire through the promotion and use of FireSmart principles. The program, launched in September 2018, replaces the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative.
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. A key component of the program is that it lets communities apply for funding to cover up to 100% of a wildfire risk reduction project.
The Union of B.C. Municipalities administers this program and processes grant applications. Eligible applicants facing a lower wildfire risk can apply for up to $25,000, while applicants facing a demonstrated higher wildfire risk can now apply for up to $150,000.
The application deadline for the next intake is Oct. 18, 2019. Program materials and more information about how to apply for one of these grants is available on the Union of B.C. Municipalities website at: www.ubcm.ca/cri
Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast –
“The record-breaking wildfire activity that we’ve experienced in recent years underlines the need to take fire prevention seriously. These new grants will help recipients take another important step to reduce wildfire risks.”
Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island –
“The consistent use of FireSmart principles helps protect individual properties and communities from wildfires. I’m pleased our government is supporting those efforts through the Community Resiliency Investment program.”
Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan –
“Every aspect of the FireSmart program plays a role in reducing wildfire risks. I encourage all British Columbians to learn more about the program and how it can benefit their communities.”
Community Resiliency Investment program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/prevention/funding-for-wildfire-prevention/crip
Read about the FireSmart program and the seven FireSmart disciplines at: www.firesmartbc.ca
A backgrounder follows.