New FireSmart grant program launched

Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative will assist communities to develop local planning efforts to mitigate risk from wildfire

A worker piles brush on a pile during a fuel management program done somewhere in B.C. recently.

A worker piles brush on a pile during a fuel management program done somewhere in B.C. recently.

Union of BC Municipalities

A new funding stream within the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative will assist communities to develop or advance local planning efforts to mitigate risk from wildfire on private lands in the wildland urban interface. Fifty grants of up to $10,000 each will be made available to local governments and First Nations under the 2016 SWPI FireSmart Grant program.

The funding will support residents to undertake FireSmart planning activities, as identified through the FireSmart Communities Program provided by Partners in Protection. FireSmart Communities is designed to encourage self-organized groups of residents to take the lead in implementing solutions for wildfire safety on their own properties.

First Nations and individual neighbourhoods or subdivisions within local governments that are in areas prone to wildfire can earn FireSmart Community Recognition status by meeting the criteria set by Partners in Protection.

The intent of the 2016 SWPI FireSmart grant program is to enable First Nations or resident or community groups within a local government to take the required actions in order to achieve and/or maintain FireSmart Community Recognition status from Partners in Protection.

The Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative (SWPI) is a suite of funding programs managed through the Provincial Fuel Management Working Group – including the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).

Since 2004, SWPI has provided funding for Community Wildfire Protection Plans and updates, fuel management prescriptions, pilot/demonstration projects and operational fuel treatments. The 2016 SWPI FireSmart Grant program has been developed as a new funding stream within SWPI.

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