2023 FireSmart Community Funding & Supports program

Publishing Date

The Minister of Forests provided more details on continued funding for the FireSmart Community Funding & Supports program earlier this month. Program materials are now available and the 2023 intake will open on October 1, 2022.

The FireSmart Community Funding & Supports program provides funding to local governments and First Nations in BC to increase community resiliency by undertaking community-based FireSmart planning and activities that reduce the community’s risk from wildfire.

Based on feedback from our members and successful applicants, several program design changes have been included in the 2023 program, including:

  • Open intake. Funding permitting, eligible applicants can submit one application between October 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023
  • Increased funding amounts
  • Expanded timeline for all funded projects
  • Inclusion of cultural fire, honoraria for cultural leaders, Elders, Indigenous knowledge keepers, and/or cultural keepers and expenses related to local cultural protocols
  • Funding for FireSmart structure protection trailers
  • FireSmart projects expanded to include eligible community assets and eligible new construction
  • Rebates for home and property owners increased and include new construction

The application review process is also changing and applications with proposed fuel management or Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans will need to complete an eligibility review with the BC Wildfire Service or First Nations’ Emergency Services Society before the application is submitted.

Starting in 2024, it will be required for all applicants to have a FireSmart position, Community FireSmart & Resiliency Committee, and current Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan developed/active in their community.  Applicants that do not currently have these FireSmart components will be strongly encouraged to apply for these activities in the 2023 intake.

Two webinars have been scheduled to help returning and new applicants understand the changes to the program.  The webinars will be on July 15 and October 13. Please register in advance.

The First Nations’ Emergency Services Society, Forest Enhancement Society of BC and UBCM work with the Ministry of Forests to deliver the FireSmart Community Funding & Supports program.  Funding is provided by the Province of BC.

For more information, contact cri@ubcm.ca or 250 356-2947.