Canadian Forces troops arrive in Quesnel for forest fire duty in 2017. More armed forces were deployed in B.C. this summer to help with record wildfire activity. (Canadian Forces photo)

B.C. communities call for wildfire prevention help

Tax, insurance cuts proposed for private land ‘fire smart’ efforts

As Canadian Forces troops headed home from the second straight year of record B.C. wildfires, local politicians called for new incentives for property owners to reduce forest fuels on their land.

Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention supported a motion from Williams Lake on Thursday, calling for tax breaks and reduced home insurance rates for people who make their properties more resistant to wildfire.

The motion calls for options including “reduced home insurance rates upon certification of adequate ‘fire smart’ status, a tax rebate in correlation to the amount of fibre removed from property to achieve ‘fire smart’ status, and/or a reduction in property taxes once certification of ‘fire smart’ status is achieved.”

The proposal calls on the Insurance Bureau of Canada to consider the reduced rates.

Quesnel council had two resolutions. One noted “very little has been done” to implement the recommendations of the 2003 report from former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon to tackle the fuel load. It called for the province to take the lead on community wildfire protection.

“The fundamental weakness in the current approach to protecting interface communities from wildfire risk is the downloading of responsibility for managing and treating Crown forest land to local government,” the resolution states.

Quesnel also called for the province to toughen penalties for wildfire-related crime, after reports of trespassing and theft in fire evacuation zones.

RELATED: 2018 passes 2017 as B.C.’s biggest wildfire year

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced Thursday that he has notified the federal government that the Canadian Armed Forces are no longer needed to assist with wildfire mop-up and security.

“This will now enable the orderly withdrawal of ground troops, command personnel, aircraft and equipment,” Farnworth said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Uptown Rutland Light-up set to be bigger than ever this year

Cookie decorating, crafts, meet-and-greet with Santa all part of light-up ceremony this year

Interior Health issues warning about opioid-laced stimulants causing recent overdoses

Interior Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider… Continue reading

Woman wanted on Canada-wide warrant possibly in Kelowna area

Brittany McLellan is unlawfully at large and wanted for breach of federal parole

Owner of Lake Country’s controversial Airport Inn charged with assault

Raif Fleihan was charged with assault with a weapon, uttering threats and breach of recognizance

Okanagan philanthropists treated to moving speech on National Philanthropy Day

David Roche shared his message to the Association of Fundraising Professionals and non-profits

Kelowna firefighter honoured with public funeral service

Capt. Kolar died of lung cancer caused by his 29-year firefighting career

VIDEO: B.C. man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Ski resorts selling mountain water is a risky move, critics say

Alberta allowed ski resort in Kananaskis Country to sell about 50 million litres to third party

Sportsnet looks at new options for Coach’s Corner time slot, post-Don Cherry

Spokesperson says Hall of Fame feature on tap this weekend after co-host’s firing

Grand Forks residents protest on bridge to call for ‘fair’ compensation after 2018 floods

Demonstrators also criticized how long it has taken to be offered land deals

Thieves strike Armstrong seniors home

‘What kind of waste of skin steals from seniors?’: residence caretaker

Salmon Arm RCMP say budget cuts won’t impact service

Police force, facing $10.7-million budget shortfall, says it won’t compromise public safety

B.C. taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres an hour

Smelly situation sniffed out at Okanagan courthouse

Call of propane smell turns out to be sewer

Most Read