News Grants coming to communities in the West Kootenay to support wildfire risk SHARE ON: Zach Stewart, staff Wednesday, Jun. 30th, 2021 An initial attack crew with the BC Wildfire Service. (Supplied by BC Wildfire Service) Five communities in the West Kootenay and the Regional District of Central Kootenay will be splitting $1,458,098 in funding from the B.C. government to put towards wildfire risk reduction. “As the fire season heats up, B.C. residents are reminded of the hazards posed by wildfire,” said Brian Frenkel, President of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. “The funding provided through this program will increase FireSmart activity around the province and will reduce the risk of wildfire to the health and safety of our communities.” The funds can be used for areas like: Education Vegetation management Community planning Development considerations Inter-agency cooperation FireSmart training Emergency management planning FireSmart projects FireSmart activities The communities and the RDCK will be splitting the funds and putting them towards various fire prevention activities. Nelson – $146,986 Education Inter-agency cooperation FireSmart for residential areas Fuel management Kaslo – $101,400 Education Planning Development Inter-agency cooperation Emergency planning FireSmart for residential areas Rossland – $229,065 Education Planning Inter-agency cooperation FireSmart for residential areas Fuel management Silverton – $139,982 Education Inter-agency cooperation Cross-training FireSmart for residential areas Fuel management Nakusp – $140,665 Education FireSmart for residential areas Fuel management RDCK – $700,000 Education Planning Development Inter-agency cooperation FireSmart demo projects FireSmart for residential areas “As a community, we feel that we can reduce the impacts of wildfire in Nelson,” said Len MacCharles, Fire Chief Nelson Fire and Rescue Services. “We promoted FireSmart for homeowners and identified forested areas on Crown land within the city that could be ignited by embers from a nearby wildfire. Historically, we have focused on the wildland-urban interface, but over the past few years, we have been expanding our focus to include the whole city.” “The support we received from the Community Resiliency Investment program allowed us to take on a project that benefits our whole community by reducing wildfire risk. We want to be an example of doing it right.” In total, the B.C. government is providing more than $2.8 million in grants to 15 local governments and First Nations in the Southeast Fire Centre.