“Moving forward, we’ll be in a much better position to empower the public with the FireSmart knowledge and tools they need to reduce wildfire risks and impacts,” says Carlene Pires, regional emergency program coordinator. Photo: Submitted

“Moving forward, we’ll be in a much better position to empower the public with the FireSmart knowledge and tools they need to reduce wildfire risks and impacts,” says Carlene Pires, regional emergency program coordinator. Photo: Submitted

Kootenay Boundary regional district awarded $277K for FireSmart action

Funding is meant to help build resilience during fire season

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) received over $277,000 in FireSmart funding from the Union of BC Municipalities Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) Program.

The grant, the largest awarded to the RDKB for its FireSmart programming, means that individuals and communities across the Kootenay and Boundary region are poised to become more FireSmart savvy than ever before.

“Funding helps to build resilience during fire season so this is fantastic news for anyone living in the regional district, particularly within our hard to reach electoral areas,” says Carlene Pires, RDKB emergency program coordinator.

“This injection of financial support will provide a real boost to our public engagement activities which have taken a hit during the pandemic. It will also improve our wildfire response and readiness, as well as our ability to enhance community connectivity.”

The community based FireSmart planning project, funded by the grant, will enable the regional emergency program team to identify wildfire risks, reduce existing wildfire threats, build forward thinking communities and facilitate more region-wide firefighter training opportunities.

It will also encompass an educational program, which will deliver FireSmart principles to the public and allow more cross-training projects to take place between fire departments and emergency staff within the region.

Pires said the CRI funding was greatly appreciated and would be used to holistically manage the FireSmart program, widen its reach and support a range of activities to be delivered collaboratively in partnership with local organizations.

“Moving forwards, we’ll be in a much better position to empower the public with the FireSmart knowledge and tools they need to reduce wildfire risks and impacts,” she added.

The CRI program, introduced by the provincial government in September 2018, provides communities in British Columbia with funding and support to complete FireSmart initiatives.

Read more: Kootenay Boundary crews knock down 2 suspicious wildfires

Read more: Kootenay Boundary directors approve $92.5M regional budget



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