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Columbia Basin Trust, BC gov funding 16 new wildfire risk reduction projects


July 22, 2021
By Columbia Basin Trust

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Wildfire prevention is increasingly required in communities across the Columbia Basin. Thanks to a partnership between the province of B.C. and the Columbia Basin Trust, 16 new wildfire risk reduction projects will get underway, creating over 200 jobs in 14 communities with support of $1.7 million.

The funding comes from the Columbia Basin Economic Recovery Initiative, which is part of the province of B.C.’s Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction program. The initiative is a partnership between the province’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, its B.C. Wildfire Service, and Columbia Basin Trust, which is administering it.

“Our government’s financial support for wildfire risk reduction projects in the Columbia Basin will help mitigate future wildfire threats,” said Katrine Conroy, B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We appreciate Columbia Basin Trust’s assistance in distributing these grants and helping communities protect themselves against wildfires.”

Projects supported through this program will teach people how to prevent wildfires and lessen their effects, managing vegetation/fuel load in fire-prone areas, support the development of community emergency plans using FireSmart principles, and create jobs and provide training and skills development related to wildfire risk reduction. Funding recipients include local governments, First Nations, non-profits, fire departments and post-secondary institutions.

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“First and foremost, this program focuses on improving the safety and security of Basin communities, while also creating employment and training opportunities for residents,” said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust. “We are pleased to partner with the province of B.C. and look forward to seeing these projects improve community wildfire resiliency during the summer and in the coming months.”

View all the projects here.