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CBT funds wildfire preparedness initiatives

Over $2 million from the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) will be split between 43 local projects aimed at wildfire preparedness, protection and prevention.

CBT officials said the funding will go to rural communities and Indigenous Nations to pay for firefighter training and equipment.

“Over the years, Basin communities have worked hard to be ready for various wildfire situations through effective on-the-ground actions such as planning, wildfire prevention and community capacity building,” said Hannah Holden, Delivery of Benefits Senior Manager. “Every additional planning step taken, piece of equipment purchased or skill learned increases their capacity to prepare for wildfires, so we’re pleased to provide support in this way.”

Projects may include purchasing equipment like chainsaws and hoses or offering training courses such as first aid or wildfire fighting.

Trust officials said this may also include planning, like a community structure protection inventory or studying water availability and delivery.

You can see details on a few of the projects below.

Balfour–Harrop – $70,000

The Regional District of Central Kootenay will use its funding to purchase a generator and wildfire protection and prevention equipment for the Balfour Volunteer Fire Department.

“Equipping firefighters with sufficient equipment allows the fire department to increase effectiveness in providing fire suppression and incident mitigation within the Balfour–Harrop community,” said Leanne Proft, Administrative Coordinator for the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Fire Services. “In turn, this leads to reduced damage or loss of structures, as well as increased safety levels for citizens and first responders.”

Elkford – $70,000

CBT officials said the District of Elkford’s grant will be used to buy a trailer, mobile sprinkler and other fire prevention equipment for Elkford Fire Rescue.

“Should the need arise in interface areas, the trailer will have the ability to offer sprinkler protection from wildfires to the residents of Elkford and surrounding municipalities,” said Enzo Calla, Director of Fire and Emergency Services. “Elkford Fire Rescue exists to enhance the quality of life within our community by ensuring life safety and protecting property with minimal impact to the environment, which this additional equipment will help facilitate.”

yaqan nuɁkiy – $54,430

The Trust said yaqan nuɁkiy will purchase a trailer, pump package, plenty of equipment and firefighter training.

“yaqan nuɁkiy community members have expressed concerns regarding the risk wildfires have on the safety of their families, homes and schools, etc., and the majority of our homes and lands are classified as extreme fire risk,” said Victoria Dekker, Community Sustainability Planner. “We have been very successful with increasing wildfire resiliency, response and worker capacity through previous projects, and are excited to keep the momentum going by purchasing and training with this prescription-burning equipment and storage trailer.”

You can see the other projects and their funding amounts here.

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