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Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

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Wildfire risk reduction program criteria more flexible

Key changes to the criteria for the FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category will be in effect for the next application intake and include the following:

  • Regional districts may now submit a single application for eligible, collaborative FireSmart projects that include multiple electoral areas. The maximum base funding (i.e., $50,000 or $150,000, depending on the demonstrated wildfire risk) may be increased by up to $50,000 for each electoral area included in the application.
  • The grant amount for eligible applicants facing a lower wildfire risk has been increased from a maximum of $25,000 to a maximum of $50,000. 
  • Applicants can now do FireSmart assessments and complete FireSmart activities related to infrastructure (owned by First Nations or publicly owned) that has been designated as critical for supporting an effective response to a wildfire (e.g., emergency operations centres, water pump stations, communications towers).
  • The new Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan supplemental instruction guide and template are now available to help communities assess wildfire risks and guide their risk reduction activities. The new template is a result of a comprehensive review of the government’s approach to community wildfire resiliency planning, conducted by the BC FireSmart Committee and the BC Wildfire Service.
  • Funding is now available to support Indigenous cultural safety and humility training for emergency management personnel, so they can more effectively partner with Indigenous communities and provide assistance related to wildfire prevention and fire suppression activities.
  • Funding is now available to help organize public meetings, community site visits and community education initiatives, and to implement or update signs, social media accounts, websites or newsletters related to a proposed activity that is eligible for Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) funding.
  • All applications for grants in the FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category are now required to include an educational component. This may include general FireSmart educational activities or be related to a proposed activity that would be eligible for funding under the program.
  • Applicants can now order FireSmart educational materials (free of charge) as part of their application, to help streamline the distribution of those materials.
  • Funding is available to applicants so they can attend the 2021 FireSmart Conference.
  • The program provides guidance for the development of Community FireSmart Resiliency Committees (previously known as FireSmart Committees) to help co-ordinate projects within Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and those projects on provincial Crown land around communities.  
  • The updated CRI program and application guide clarifies the links between the FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category and the program’s Crown land Wildfire Risk Reduction category, which focuses on wildfire risk mitigation projects on Crown land.