Grant ensures continuation of FireSmart Program

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Now heading into its fourth year, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s (CSRD) FireSmart program has been awarded a grant of $250,000 from the Province’s Community Resiliency Investment Program to continue the program for the coming year.

Projects will continue to focus on educating residents on the risk of wildfire and working with individuals and communities to reduce the risk and impact of wildfire to communities throughout the CSRD.

 

Activities have included conducting hazard assessments of homes, properties and neighbourhoods, offering advice on ways homeowners can reduce fire risks, and educating the development industry on implementing FireSmart standards. In 2021, Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans were developed for Electoral Areas A (Rural Golden) and F (North Shuswap).

This coming season, $100,000 of the grant funds will be used to develop Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans for Electoral Areas C (South Shuswap) and D (Falkland, Salmon Valley, Deep Creek). The goal is to have plans created for all the CSRD’s Electoral Areas by the end of 2023.

As part of the CSRD’s 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.

“We are thrilled by the success of our FireSmart assessment program. Since the program started in 2019, we have conducted 608 assessments. The continuation of the grant will ensure that even more CSRD residents can take advantage of having a trained professional assess their home or property and offer ideas on how to reduce wildfire risk,” says Len Youden, the CSRD’s FireSmart Coordinator.

 FireSmart is a national program that uses research and best practices to minimize property loss and damage due to wildfire. FireSmart community funding and supports are administered to local governments and First Nations through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM).

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