Additional Wildfire Prevention Funding Announced

The B.C. government will provide an additional $5 million to the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative (SWPI), Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced last week. The funding will support First Nations and local governments undertake forest fuel management prescriptions and treatment projects. Reducing fuel loads in interface areas, where urban developments border forests and grasslands, is a proven method of lowering the threat of damaging wildfires.

Applications under the initiative were curtailed last year for three of four program streams. Applications for Community Wildfire Protection Planning continue to be accepted.

The additional funding will allow communities to apply for site specific planning (prescriptions) and operational treatment projects that will better protect their citizens, their homes and businesses, and critical infrastructure from the risk of wildfire.

2015 SWPI Program & Application Guides and a revised application intake deadline will be announced in the near future.

The SWPI is a suite of funding programs managed through the Provincial Fuel Management Working Group, which includes the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society, and the Wildfire Management Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

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