The City of Kelowna has been recognized for its contributions to building resilience to wildfires through the FireSmart program.
At the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) on Wednesday (Sep. 20), the city received the 2023 Climate and Energy Action Award in the Community Planning and Development category.
The award from the Community Energy Association highlights the city’s community chipping program.
Mayor Tom Dyas said it was gratifying to receive the award.
“Our Council continues to look at ways we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change, which we have experienced at an unprecedented level this summer in British Columbia.”
The city has offered free curbside removal and chipping of flammable plant and shrub materials for the past two years to reduce the risk of wildfire on private properties.
Award judges were impressed with Kelowna’s inter-departmental collaboration and quality of engagement with the community, and that the program could be replicated in other communities.
“I would like to thank our staff and the community for their efforts in making Kelowna a more resilient community especially as related to mitigating the risk of interface fires,” Dyas added.
Climate resiliency is built into the city’s Official Community Plan, providing policy direction and describing the work underway in Kelowna to mitigate short and long-term climate risks.