The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) will be continuing a program aimed at helping protect property from wildfires.
The regional district’s FireSmart initiative received a $250,000 grant to keep operating for the coming year; this was $100,000 more than it received the previous year.
Activities covered by the CSRD program include offering advice to homeowners looking to reduce fire risks, conducting hazard assessments of homes and properties and educating developers about building FireSmart principles into new construction. The program is administered by trained FireSmart representatives.
Homeowners who complete FireSmart improvements to their properties may be eligible for a rebate of up to $500. Information and an online assessment request form are available on the FireSmart page of the regional district’s website.
CSRD FireSmart coordinator Len Youden said the community’s response to the program has been very positive so far with more than 200 property assessments completed.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant which will allow us to expand our efforts, ultimately making our communities more resilient to wildfire,” he said.
Along with the ongoing home assessment program, the money will be used to develop wildfire resiliency plans for Electoral Area A near Golden and Electoral Area F in the North Shuswap. The regional district’s other electoral areas will get similar plans of their own as money becomes available.
The CSRD is looking for citizens in Electoral Areas A and F to participate in FireSmart and resiliency committees which will provide input on the plans. Those who are interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org.