Monday, March 8, 2021
Building on the success of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District's (CSRD) FireSmart initiative, the regional district has been awarded a grant of $250,000 to expand the program for the coming year.
This FireSmart Community Funding Grant is $100,000 more than was received from the Province's Community Resiliency Investment Program last year. FireSmart community funding and support are administered to local governments and First Nations through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). Projects will continue to focus on reducing the risk and impacts of wildfire on communities throughout the CSRD.
The CSRD's program has promoted FireSmart principles to individuals and community groups throughout the region using trained FireSmart representatives. Activities have included conducting hazard assessments of homes and properties, offering advice on ways homeowners can reduce fire risks, and educating development industry professionals on implementing FireSmart standards to reduce flammability.
As part of this ongoing program, homeowners who complete eligible FireSmart improvements on their own properties may qualify for up to a $500 rebate. Information and an online assessment request form is available on the FireSmart page of the CSRD's website.
"The community's response to our FireSmart Program has been very positive. We've been able to complete more than 200 individual home and property assessments to help people reduce the risk of their homes being damaged or destroyed in a wildfire," says Len Youden, the CSRD's FireSmart Coordinator.
"We are thrilled to receive this grant which will allow us to expand our efforts, ultimately making our communities more resilient to wildfire," he adds.
In addition to the home assessment program, the additional funding will include major investments in developing Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans for Electoral Areas A (Rural Golden) and F (north Shuswap). The completion of Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans for the remaining CSRD Electoral Areas will take place on a phased basis as funding becomes available.
The creation of these plans will involve community input from Community FireSmart and Resiliency Committees. The CSRD is looking for citizens in Electoral Areas A and F to participate. If you are interested, please email FireSmart.