The UBCM's FireSmart Community Funding & Supports Program offers wildfire funding to aid in wildfire prevention activities for local BC municipalities and First Nations.
Wildfire Funding is Available For Your Community
Wildfires have become an increasingly prevalent threat in many regions across Canada, especially in areas with a history of dry, hot climates. Adopting FireSmart practices can be an effective way for communities to mitigate the risk and help protect their homes and people.
The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) recognizes the importance of wildfire preparedness and offers the Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) FireSmart Community Funding and Supports Program to assist communities in implementing critical activities. We'll delve into some key FireSmart activities that communities can secure funding for through this program, providing insights into each.
1. FireSmart Community Wildfire Education Events
Education is the cornerstone of wildfire prevention. The CRI program offers financial support for communities to host wildfire education events.
These events help residents understand the risks associated with wildfires and provide them with the knowledge and tools to safeguard their homes. Workshops, seminars, and information sessions can teach residents about creating defensible spaces, using fire-resistant building materials, and safe evacuation procedures. By promoting awareness and empowering residents, communities become more resilient in the face of wildfires.
2. Development of a Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan (CWRP)
A Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan (CWRP) is a strategic blueprint for reducing wildfire risks within a community. The CRI funding program encourages communities to develop and implement CWRPs.
These plans involve assessing the local wildfire risk, identifying vulnerabilities, and establishing guidelines for prevention and response. A well-crafted CWRP lays the foundation for informed decision-making, allowing communities to allocate resources effectively and prioritise the most pressing FireSmart initiatives.
3. Hiring for FireSmart Positions
Having a dedicated FireSmart Coordinator can significantly enhance a community's wildfire preparedness efforts. UBCM's CRI funding program provides support for hiring these professionals.
FireSmart Coordinators can organise FireSmart activities, manage resources, and liaise with residents and government agencies. Their expertise ensures that FireSmart initiatives are carried out efficiently, and their presence helps build community engagement and accountability.
4. Vegetation Treatment and Fuel Management
Managing vegetation and reducing fuel sources are vital components of wildfire prevention. CRI funding can be utilised for various vegetation treatment methods, including prescribed burns, cultural burning, and mechanical clearing.
Reducing flammable vegetation around homes and in common areas creates defensible spaces, limiting the spread of wildfires. Cultural burning, in particular, can align FireSmart activities with Indigenous land stewardship practices, fostering a holistic approach to wildfire mitigation.
5. Cross-training for Firefighters
Well-prepared and coordinated firefighting teams are essential for effective wildfire response. The CRI program offers support for cross-training programs that help firefighters gain a comprehensive understanding of wildfire behaviour and strategies.
Cross-training fosters collaboration between local, provincial, and federal firefighting units, ensuring a unified approach during emergencies. It also equips firefighters with the skills to adapt to various wildfire scenarios.
6. Structural Protection Units
Structural protection units are designed to safeguard homes and structures during wildfires. The CRI program can assist communities in acquiring or enhancing these resources.
These units consist of firefighting equipment, water sources, and other tools that enable residents and first responders to defend their properties against encroaching flames. By investing in structural protection units, communities can significantly increase their resilience to wildfires and protect lives and property.
Enhance Your Community's Resilience Against Wildfire
The UBCM's Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) FireSmart Community Funding and Supports Program plays a pivotal role in supporting communities to enhance their resilience against wildfires. By offering financial support for a range of essential FireSmart activities, communities can better prepare for and respond to the growing threat of wildfires.
From education and planning to on-the-ground actions, these activities empower communities to take a proactive stance in protecting lives, property, and the natural environment. Embracing FireSmart practices through this funding program can make a significant difference in wildfire-prone regions, fostering a safer and more resilient future for all.
Frontera Forest Solutions is a forestry consultancy located in North Vancouver, British Columbia. With clients all around Western Canada, Frontera specializes in helping communities develop wildfire resiliency though innovative forest management an urban forestry, grant writing and training and curriculum development.
To explore how we can work with your community, reach out here.