BC pledges additional funding to fight wildfires, other emergencies
By Ellen Cools
The government of British Columbia has promised an additional $31 million to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) for local governments and First Nations.
The program helps communities fight against wildfires, floods and other emergencies. According to a government news release, $30 million of the $31 million will help eligible applicants in local government and First Nations communities build resiliency to emergencies, including funds for evacuation route planning, emergency operations centre and emergency support services training and equipment. The remaining $1 million will go to Indigenous Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Training, which will help train emergency management personnel to more effectively partner with and help Indigenous communities during emergencies.
Total funding for the CEPF is now at $69.5 million, according to a government news release.
“In the wake of consecutive record-breaking wildfire and flood seasons, the province is providing more resources to help prepare communities and keep people safe in a disaster,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan in a statement. “With these investments, we are supporting communities and emergency responders to reduce wildfire risk and better mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies.”
An additional $19 million will go to 40 wildfire risk reduction projects in B.C. via the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. Of those 40 projects, 36 focus on fuel management and will reduce wildfire risk within two kilometres of a community.
According to a government news release, the province also previously announced $5 million for a new area of the CEPF to support volunteer and composite fire departments.