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B.C. invests in Thompson-Okanagan region to reduce wildfire risk in community forests

September 23, 2022  By Government of B.C.

Photo: Monashee Community Forest, courtesy of BCCFA.

People within the Thompson-Okanagan region will have greater protection from wildfires through a provincial investment in a series of community-led projects.

The BC Community Forest Association (BCCFA) co-ordinated with 15 community forests on 48 Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction (CLWRR) projects, including 11 within the Kamloops Fire Centre Region. These projects are part of the ongoing work to adapt and better prepare for climate change.

“Managed by local communities and First Nations for the benefit of the entire community, community forests are key partners in our work to reduce wildfire risks across the province,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Along with the historic investments in Budget 2022 to transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service and double funding for proactive wildfire prevention, these new projects will help build communities that are safer and more resilient to climate change.”

Completed or underway projects within the Kamloops Fire Centre Region are:

  • Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society: $115,096 for a prescription development project near the community of Barrière.
  • Monashee Community Forest LLP: $667,139 for three prescription development projects and two operational treatments near Lumby.
  • Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation: $493,629 for three prescription development projects and two operational treatments.

Community forests led $5 million in CLWRR projects to increase wildfire resiliency for communities and critical infrastructure. These projects include cultural burning and prescribed fire, hazard reduction, tactical planning, fuel treatment and prescriptions, and other actions.

“Community forests are important partners in managing forested land near communities,” said Jennifer Gunter, BCCFA executive director. “By partnering with the BC Wildfire Service, community forests are demonstrating an effective and efficient path forward to address wildfire risk while also supporting local employment opportunities.”

These projects are part of the Community Resiliency Investment Program administered by the BC Wildfire Service. It supports wildfire risk reduction treatments on provincial Crown land near communities, around critical infrastructure and in areas facing a higher wildfire risk. Year-round action is required to reduce the risk and severity of wildfires by promoting local leadership in building local networks for training, planning, and implementation.

Learn more: Government of B.C.

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