Leon Gallic, Jesse Law and Harold Larson of Thunderbird Unit Crew, an elite wildfire management crew with B.C. Wildfire Service, clear bush surrounding Sproat Lake Community Hall in keeping with FireSmart practices. MIKE YOUDS PHOTO

Leon Gallic, Jesse Law and Harold Larson of Thunderbird Unit Crew, an elite wildfire management crew with B.C. Wildfire Service, clear bush surrounding Sproat Lake Community Hall in keeping with FireSmart practices. MIKE YOUDS PHOTO

Grants distributed to rural, First Nations communities for wildfire mitigation

The Regional District of East Kootenay and the ʔaq’am community have each received a $150,000 grant from the provincial government to help rural and First Nations communities prepare for wildfire season.

It is part of a $2 million funding package being distributed to municipalities, regional districts, and First Nations communities across the Southeast Fire Centre.

“This is a great opportunity for rural communities to develop solutions that work for them,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “These grants will help people in the Kootenays take a proactive approach to preparing for wildfires.”

The funding is dedicated for a myriad of purposes such as assisting with education, planning, cross-training, fuel management, FireSmart activities and more.

“It is important that our Kootenay communities are prepared for future wildfire seasons,” said Michelle Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “This funding will help us do that so that we can ensure our families and neighbours’ safety.”

Eligible applicants facing a lower wildfire risk can apply for $25,000, while those with higher risks can apply for up to $150,000.

The entirety of the funding consists of roughly $9 million that is being distributed to 89 local governments and First Nations across the province through the Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) program, which replaced the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative in 2018.

Since the CRI was established two years ago, $18.6 million has been granted to support 209 projects and initiatives across the province.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

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