Wildfire Prevention Funding & Resources

Following another damaging wildfire season in B.C., a number of new and renewed resources—funding and workshops—are available to local governments and First Nations seeking to better protect their communities.

  • A $10 million “top-up” to the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative (SWPI) was announced by the Premier at the recent UBCM Convention. Grants will continue to be available for First Nations and local governments to prepare Community Wildfire Protection Plans and fuel management prescriptions, and to undertake operational fuel treatment projects. 2016 program materials will be available in December. 
  • The 2016 SWPI FireSmart Grant program, announced last month, is a new funding stream within SWPI. This program supports groups of residents to take the lead in planning for wildfire safety on their own properties. Local governments and First Nations may apply for up to $10,000 each to take steps towards achieving FireSmart Community Recognition status. The application deadline is November 30, 2015.
  • The Premier also advised UBCM delegates that the Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations is developing a Forest Enhancement Program “to undertake salvage harvesting of dead timber, wildfire risk reduction and fuel management operations, and to enhance reforestation efforts and wildlife habitat restoration in stands severely impacted by wildfires and mountain pine beetle”. The program will be operational is 2016-17.
  • The last of six regional Local FireSmart Representative Workshops will take place in Burnaby on November 17 & 18. Aimed at emergency preparedness and wildfire prevention staff from First Nations and local governments in the Coastal Fire Centre, this workshop will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and tools to help protect their communities from wildland-urban interface fires and will prepare participants to assist their communities in the FireSmart Canada Community Recognition Program.
  • FNESS will also be delivering a series of six Regional Wildfire Prevention Workshops beginning in November 2015 and continuing until February 2016. Sessions are planned for Kamloops, Cranbrook, Williams Lake, Smithers, Vancouver and Fort St. John.

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