NewsProvince commits $822,695 toward West Kootenay wildfire risk reduction projects SHARE ON: Jensen Shields, staff Thursday, Apr. 1st, 2021 In late March, wildfire mitigation efforts near Creston included a prescribed burn. (Supplied by BC Wildfire Service, Facebook)Communities in the Southeast Fire Centre are getting grants to help combat and mitigate wildfires.“Across the Kootenays, one of the biggest draws is that we get to live next to nature,” said Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson. “Unfortunately, that can mean our homes and communities are at greater wildfire risk. By supporting these projects, we are making sure people will be protected by a community-led response in the case of a wildfire.” Projects in the Southeast Fire Centre include:$204,620 to Creston Valley Forest Corporation$184,070 to Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative$260,505 to Kaslo and District Community Forest Society$25,000 to Nakusp and Area Community Forest$148,500 to Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative “People in the Kootenays have been living with the reality of wildfires for a long time,” Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy added. “These projects will help keep people and local infrastructure safe if a fire does happen, and support local employment in a community-owned and operated forest.”Provincial grant funding for these local projects stems from the $5 million allocated to 15 holders of Community Forest Agreements around B.C. to fund a total of 44 Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction projects.Community Forest Agreement holders manage forested land near communities and play a key role in fuel management treatments. They also advocate for their communities and provide expertise and knowledge to successfully implement fuel management projects locally.