File photo of a B.C. Wildfire

Wildfire, flood risk reduction gets $31M boost from province

Premier John Horgan made the announcement in Kelowna on Friday

Communities across B.C. that face of wildfires, floods and other emergencies will now be getting increased support from the provincial government.

While in Kelowna on Friday, Premier John Horgan announced his NDP government will give a $31 million boost to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) for local governments and First Nations.

This brings the total program funding to $69.5 million.

Horgan explained that in the wake of consecutive record-breaking wildfire and flood seasons, the province is providing more resources to help prepare communities and keep people safe if disasters occur.

“With these investments, we are supporting communities and emergency responders to reduce wildfire risk and better mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies.”

An additional $19 million will be invested by the NDP for 40 wildfire risk reduction projects in B.C. communities, delivered through the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.

Wayne Clogg, Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. board chair, said 36 of the 40 approved projects are for fuel management projects that will directly reduce wildfire risk within two kilometres of a community.

“These 40 new projects throughout the province will now have the funding they need to start wildfire risk mitigation work. In many cases, this funding is the catalyst to develop wildlife risk mitigation strategies and conduct treatments on the ground to protect and safeguard their communities,” Clogg said.

The CEPF funding includes $30 million to help eligible applicants in local government and First Nations communities build resiliency through structural flood mitigation projects, flood risk assessments, mapping and mitigation planning.

READ MORE: Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

In addition to flood-specific funding, there is also support for resiliency in the face of all emergencies, including funds for evacuation route planning, emergency operations centre and emergency support services training and equipment.

According to Doug Donaldson, B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the new CEPF funding also provides $1 million for Indigenous Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Training, which will support eligible applicants to provide emergency management personnel with training to partner with and assist Indigenous communities during times of emergency.

“One of the findings of the Abbott-Chapman review was that governments in the past did not do enough to clean up areas around communities, and that increased the risk of catastrophic wildfires,” explained Donaldson.

READ MORE: Court to rule on B.C.’s pipeline permit law in crucial case for Trans Mountain

The province funds wildfire risk reduction activities through the $60-million Community Resiliency Investment Program and through the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. Wildfire risk reduction activities include fuel management treatments to reduce fine fuels in forests and FireSmart activities that communities and landowners can undertake.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Multiple crashes slow traffic on Coquihalla south of Kamloops

Drivers are expected to be stuck for up to 90 minutes

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

AquaHacking Challenge comes to Okanagan to help address water issues

Between 2015 and 2018, the program has resulted in 12 active startups with 75 per cent still active

Black smoke billowing from rustic camping trailer

A recreational camping vehicle has caught on fire in a treed area, more information to come

2018 annual report: Crime increased in almost every statistical category in Lake Country

Report states there were 617 offences in 2018; almost 100 more than 2017

VIDEO: Weekday weather update for the Okanagan Valley

Prepare for a rainy week with a chance of thunderstorms

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Memorials set up to honour Antarctica explorer

In 1913, two memorials in Summerland honoured Naval Officer Robert Scott

Mudslides expected to keep Shuswap road closed for at least three days

Alternate route Celista-Blueberry Forest Service Road, accessible by four-by-four vehicles

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Biker airlifted from Okanagan mountain resort

22-year-old injured at SilverStar Mountain Resort

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Most Read