Communication and planning is underway to assist First Nations and local governments to engage in the FireSmart community recognition program. The goal of progressing the First Nations and local government into the recognition program is the objective for this fiscal year. The BC Wildfire Service recently hired a communications/engagement specialist who will implement the FireSmart Community Recognition Program and assist with wildfire prevention activities in BC. it was determined that the FireSmart Community recognition program will be an activity for this position.
The BC Territorial representative/liaison position was previously held by a FNESS representative and is now shared between FNESS and the BCWS.
This added capacity and support for this role has been a great addition to BC FireSmart.
We have also received approval to develop an expanded Fire Smart project through the Department of Indigenous Services Canada this year and are seeking to increase the FireSmart community recognition First Nations engagement. Splatsin First Nation received community recognition in May 2018.
Recognized BC FireSmart Communities
Wildfire Community Preparedness Day events can take place between Saturday May 2 - Thursday October 31, 2020
2019 FireSmart Community Funding & Supports
For 2019, the program is structured to fund FireSmart activities in all eligible communities throughout BC. Funding is scaled to offer eligible applicants with lower risk of wildfire to apply for up to $25,000 and applicants with a demonstrated higher risk of wildfire to apply for up to $100,000 per year.
Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) Assessment Pilot Project
A project proposal was initiated in August 2016 as a partnership proposal for Fort Nelson First Nation IR # 2 through the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (DISC) and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) who approved the project in October 2016. The project was leveraged as a partnership initiative through the BC Rural Dividend Program which approved the project in March 2017. The project area of interest expanded to include the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.
The scope of the project also expanded to include:
UAV technology to capture aerial imagery to support HIZ assessments and threat assessments in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).
- UAV commercial training for community members/business owners to support economic development opportunities.
The project initiative is being implemented through six funding sources with budget contributions from DISC, Forest Enhancement Society, UMBC, Fort Nelson First Nations (FNFN), and Partners in Protection, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and the BC Rural Dividend Program.
Mr. Jeff Eustache, RFT