forest fire
(File photo)

Nearly $300,000 of funding has been allocated to help reduce wildfire risks on Vancouver Island this summer, according to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The funding comes from the province’s community resiliency investment program, which focuses on preemptive measures to ensure fires are prevented before they start.

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“Wildfires are a fact of life in British Columbia, but our government works closely with communities, First Nations, industry and other stakeholders to reduce wildfire risks,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan in a statement.

“These grants will help achieve those goals and provide employment opportunities.”

In total, $288,090 is being allocated to 6 regions on southern Vancouver Island:

  • Capital Regional District — $100,000 for education, inter-agency co-operation, cross training, and emergency planning.
  • District of Central Saanich — $25,000 to assist with planning.
  • District of North Saanich — $43,300 to assist with planning and education.
  • Cowichan Valley Regional District — $38,240 for education and fuel and vegetation management.
  • Municipality of North Cowichan — $34,500 to assist with planning.
  • Nanaimo — $47,390 to assist with planning and education.

The community resiliency investment program was established in September 2018 with an initial funding of $50 million to assist local governments and First Nations in lowering wildfire risks around their communities.

“Wildfire threats can affect both urban and rural areas,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin.

“The community resiliency investment program is designed to make communities safer throughout British Columbia.”