(Westbank First Nation/Submitted)

Westbank First Nation completes fire mitigation project

Project funded through almost $300,000 grant

Westbank First Nation (WFN) has completed a half-year project involving fire mitigation across Indian Reserves 9 and 10.

Over 66 hectares were combed over between Nov. 2021 and April 2022, covering nine parcels of land. Much of the work involved the reduction of fuels, including dead and hazardous tree removal and the removal of brush vegetation, which would prove effective in slowing future wildfires in the area.

“With the increase in wildfire intensity we have seen over the past few years, this mitigation work has come at an optimal time,” said WFN Chief Christopher Derickson. “There is an interconnectedness between the land and our people. We are responsible for both. We are always thinking about the future of our children, and how we can sustain our world seven generations into the future.”

Though a vast amount of the mitigation and clearing work is now done by machinery, handwork is still utilized as well, including spacing trees through pruning, trimming, and piling.

Ntityix Development Corporation was contracted by WFN to facilitate the work, along with Tronson Logging Ltd.

The project was funded through an almost $300,000 grant obtained by WFN, provided by the Community Resiliency Investment Firesmart Community Program.

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Jake.courtepatte@kelownacapnews.com

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