BL COMFOR. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake Community Forest gets $420,000 from province

Funding to go towards wildfire mitigation projects

The Burns Lake Community Forest (BL Comfor) is receiving provincial funding for its wildfire mitigation projects.

Last week, the Ministry of Forests, Land, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) announced a $5 million investment to help community forests complete wildfire risk projects. This investment comes in part due to the province’s economic recovery plan to create jobs and help communities deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

“It’s a priority for our government to do everything we can to keep people safe from the threat of wildfires,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of FLNRORD in a news release issued by the ministry. “This money will help recipients reduce those risks and also support local employment opportunities.”

The money, which was given to the BC Community Forest Association, will be going towards 44 Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction (CLWRR) projects throughout the province that would focus on wildfire risks while creating local jobs.

The Northwest Fire Centre will be receiving $1,178,600 towards three community forests agreement holders.

Burns Lake Community Forest Ltd. will be getting $420,000 for two operational treatment projects and one prescribed fire project which is roughly 150 hectares.

”I believe that the award of these funds paints a clear picture of the outstanding forest stewardship that the Burns Lake Community Forest continues to achieve. It is an awesome example of how collaboration between community forests, the BC Community Forest Association and the province is essential in creating safe communities and resilient forests,” said Crystal Fisher, president of BL Comfor.

The two other projects in the Northwest Fire Centre are $663,600 to Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest Corporation for three prescription development projects and two operational treatments near Hudson Bay Mountain and Seymour Ridge roughly 270 hectares and $95,000 to Terrace Community Forest LLP for risk reduction tactical planning near Terrace and Kitimat.

“Community forests are leaders in wildfire risk reduction. This new partnership between the BCCFA and the BC Wildfire Service will further their efforts to make our forests and communities more resilient,” said Jennifer Gunter, the executive director of the BC Community Forest Association.

A total of 15 community forest agreement holders will be receiving this funding.

“The BLCF board of directors, staff and management are beyond pleased to be the recipients of these funds and are excited to begin our projects as soon as the snow melts,” said Fisher.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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