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Grants given to reduce wildfire risks in the North

Victoria has has allocated several grants, under its community resiliency investment program, to local governments and First Nations communities to help support wildfire risk reduction projects.

A total of $574,840  has been awarded to eight local governments and First Nations communities in the Prince George Fire Centre; $265,106 to five local governments and First Nations communities in the Northwest Fire Centre; and $342,378 to five local governments and First Nations communities in the Cariboo Fire Centre.

These grants are part of a second round of 44 grants distributed province-wide from the program’s first application intake. They are in addition to the more than $6 million in funding provided to 85 municipalities, regional districts and First Nations throughout British Columbia in May 2019.

The total number of Community Resiliency Investment program grants allocated province-wide to date is 129, amounting to more than $9.8 million. (See the list of new grant recipients distributed within the Prince George Fire Centre in the attached backgrounder.)

“The last two summers have shown the need for better preparation in advance of wildfire seasons,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, in a news release. “To help keep people and communities as safe as possible, it’s more important than ever that we invest in programs that reduce the risk.”

The B.C. government has committed $60 million to the Community Resiliency Investment program to help local governments and First Nations reduce the risk of wildfire through the promotion and use of FireSmart principles. The program, launched in September 2018, replaces the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative.

The Community Resiliency Investment program helps increase community resiliency by funding activities that promote FireSmart education, planning and opportunities for partnerships through regional FireSmart committees. A key component of the program is that it lets communities apply for funding to cover up to 100 per cent of a wildfire risk reduction project.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities administers this program and processes grant applications. Eligible applicants facing a lower wildfire risk can apply for up to $25,000, while applicants facing a demonstrated higher wildfire risk can now apply for up to $150,000.

The application deadline for the next intake is Oct. 18, 2019. Program materials and more information about how to apply for one of these grants is available on the Union of B.C. Municipalities website at: www.ubcm.ca/cri

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