The Village of Burns Lake, the Lake Babine Nation and Cheslatta Carrier Nation will receive a combined total of $163,900 worth of Community Resiliency Investment grants to boost wildfire risk reduction projects. (Black Press Media file photo)

Local communities get $163,900 in fire safety grants

The Village of Burns Lake, the Lake Babine Nation and Cheslatta Carrier Nation will receive $163,900 worth of Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) grants to boost wildfire risk reduction projects.

The three are among five recipients in the Northwest Fire Centre that will receive a total of more than $265,000 in grants, part of a larger group of 44 grants that went out across British Columbia in the program’s first application intake, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) said in a July 11 news release.

The Village of Burns Lake will get $31,400 for education, cross-training and FireSmart work on private land; the Lake Babine Nation will receive $100,000 to assist with education, emergency planning, cross-training and fuel and vegetation management; and the Cheslatta Carrier Nation will get $32,500 to help with education and planning.

The Sik-e-Dakh First Nation (Glen Vowell) will receive $51,206.69 and the Tahltan Nation will get $50,000.

Burns Lake’s share breaks down into $9,400 for two or more FireSmart training days and “continued support for advertising and education efforts to increase awareness of FireSmart principles,” according to a council report.

RELATED: Burns Lake gets FireSmart

Another $2,000 will go towards cross-training of Burns Lake Volunteer Fire Department members in S100 fire suppression courses.

And $20,000 will fund FireSmarting activities on private land, of which $15,000 will be for advertising and installing waste bins for debris from fire smarting properties.

All of those activities will take place over the near year, as deputy corporate officer Val Anderson told Lakes District News.

“The village has until May 30, 2020 to complete the grant,” she said.

So far there have been 129 CRI program grants allocated across the province, for a total of $9.8 million.

“The last two summers have shown the need for better preparation in advance of wildfire seasons,” said Doug Donaldson, FLNRORD Minister.

“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 CRI program helps increase community resiliency by funding work that promotes FireSmart education, planning and opportunities for partnerships through regional FireSmart groups. A highlight of the program is that it lets communities apply for funding that covers up to 100 per cent of a wildfire risk reduction project.

Applicants facing demonstrably high wildfire risks can apply for up to $150,000 in funding, and those facing lower risks can apply for up to $25,000.

The application deadline for the next intake is Oct. 18, 2019.

For more information go to the Union of B.C. Municipalities website at: www.ubcm.ca/cri


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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