Province grants more than $500,000 to help Cowichan Valley communities fight wildfires. (File photo)

Province grants more than $500,000 to help Cowichan Valley communities fight wildfires. (File photo)

Cowichan Valley communities receive funding to help fight wildfires

Province commits more than $500,000 to CVRD, Lake Cowichan, North Cowichan

In a timely move, local governments in the Cowichan Valley are being provided with more than $500,000 from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to help reduce the risk of wildfires in their communities.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will receive $272,000 to assist with education, emergency planning, and fuel management; the Town of Lake Cowichan has been granted $130,000 to assist with education, development, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, cross-training, FireSmart demo projects, and FireSmart for residential areas; while the Municipality of North Cowichan will receive $110,000 to assist with education, planning, development, and fuel management.

In all, the province has provided more than $4.3 million in grants to 42 local governments and First Nations in the Coastal Fire Centre to support wildfire risk reduction initiatives and help keep communities safe.

These Community Resiliency Investment grants are part of a total of more than $15 million provided to 118 recipients throughout B.C. following the latest application intake in the program’s FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category.

“Mitigating wildfire threats is crucial to help safeguard people, homes and businesses throughout the province,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“Since the Community Resiliency Investment program was established in 2018, our government has approved 366 grants to local governments and First Nations totalling over $37 million.”

The Union of B.C. Municipalities administers the $60-million FireSmart Community Funding and Supports grant program, and it processes grant applications in partnership with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of B.C.

The next application intake opened on June 30, 2021.

B.C. Wildfires 2021