A sizeable grant from the province, says the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, will help reduce wildfire risks in the region.
This week, the regional district said its FireSmart program received $250,000 in funding, via the Union of B.C. Municipalities, with the RDCO noting that it will contribute an additional $30,000 towards the program.
The RDCO says it has completed wildfire fuel reduction on hundreds of hectares in regional parks, and the funding will continue that work.
The money will be used to hire a FireSmart coordinator for one year for projects associated with wildfire risk reduction in electoral areas East and West.
The RDCO say the coordinator will develop a community wildfire resiliency plan, assist with residential fire reduction assessments and provide FireSmart awareness, outreach and a grant program for residents in those electoral areas.
The regional district noted that a portion of the money will be used towards forest-fire fuel management in three regional parks (Mill Creek, Kalamoir and a portion of Scenic Canyon) and to also complete an 8.7-hectare fuel reduction project in Kalamoir Regional Park.
“We are extremely grateful to the UBCM for this significant funding that acknowledges the important FireSmart work planned to assist residents in our electoral areas,” said RDCO engineering services director David Komaike.
“The FireSmart program and practices are proven to reduce the severity of wildfire and this grant will help many property owners with their emergency preparedness.”