Pine beetle attack is taxing Kelowna’s finances

City is asking Victoria to help pay for its work to stop the pine beetle

Kelowna is looking for financial assistance from the province, through the Union of B.C. Municipalities, to help it fight the mountain pine beetle.

According to Blair Stewart, the city’s urban forestry supervisor, with 24 per cent of the trees in the city ponderosa pines and 60 to 80 per cent expected to be infected by 2018, the potential for serious damage here is high.

“It’s not a question of if, but rather when,” Stewart told council Monday.

While infestation rates have been slower here than in other parts of the province, the city has been active in trying to attack the problem, which has seen vast stands of trees in northern and central B.C. killed by the beetle in recent years.

The city, through a partnership with the federal government, has received $1.27 million in funding through 2014 to help with beetle control measures.

So far, the city’s main goal has been to assist with city-owned property.

Under the funding being applied for from Victoria, the city could have up to 90 per cent of its costs, up to $100,000 and 75 per cent of its costs from $100,000 to $400,000 re-imbused.

Stewart said the city has made a $165,000 application for funding assistance.

In addition to a beetle hotline that is provided to give the public information about the problem and possible solutions—especially private landowners who are affected—the city has fuel modification crews that have completed work at 29 sites where there is beetle-kill wood.

Some of the hardest hit areas so far in the city include North Glenmore near the city’s landfill and  areas out near Gallagher’s Canyon, said Stewart.

Just Posted

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Kelowna teen allegedly robbed while walking at night

Community asked for tips to help reunite teen with ring

Nasty note on windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Remembering road crash victims in Kelowna

World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims takes place Sunday in Kelowna

Flag person struck by car

RCMP investigating incident involving female traffic control person and senior driver

Rockets calm Hurricanes for 7th straight win at home

Dillon Dube scored twice Friday to lead Rockets to WHL victory over Lethbridge

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Guns and drugs seized in Kamloops RCMP blitz

Kamloops Mounties and the gang unit seize drugs and make arrests in two-day blitz

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Interior Health expands meningococcal precautions in South Okanagan

Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls included in the expanded precautionary immunization measure

Homeless count returns amid Penticton’s housing crisis

Volunteers are hitting the streets this week to find solid data on Penticton’s homeless population

Missing woman smart, courageous, lovable

Mother says Caitlin Potts trying to overcome foster care experience

Most Read