One of nine helicopters working to contain the Cheslaslie River fire west of Quesnel

Forest fire help tops communities’ wish list

B.C. government fund for community forest fire prevention is all spent, and fires still threaten some parts of province

Coming through one of the most expensive forest fire seasons in the province’s history, the B.C. government is being asked to renew its fund for local governments to create safe zones around their communities.

A resolution to extend wildfire prevention funding tops the list for the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, set for Sept. 22-26 in Whistler. It was sponsored by the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District, where fire crews are battling the latest major forest fire near Princeton.

The province’s wildfire prevention fund was established 10 years ago in the wake of the damaging 2003 fire season, with $37 million for a cost-sharing program. Another $25 million was provided in 2011 and that money has all been committed for local forest fuel management projects.

The B.C. government estimates it will spend $350 million on wildfire control by the end of this season. That was exceeded in 2003 and in 2009, the most costly season for the province with $382 million spent.

Other resolutions given priority by the UBCM executive:

• Langley City is calling on the province to provide a cost recovery model for medical assistance calls to its fire rescue service. Nearly four out of five calls received are for medical assistance. In response to a previous request, the province told UBCM its local firefighters are not required to respond to medical calls.

• The City of Victoria wants to discuss the province’s changes to the Agricultural Land Commission. Nelson, Coldstream and the Central Kootenay Regional District have presented similar resolutions, calling for more consultation before changes are implemented.

• Northern and central B.C. municipalities object to the province’s proposal to cap industrial tax rates for properties used in liquefied natural gas developments. The B.C. government has complained previously about high industrial taxes imposed on the forest products industry.

• The province’s new recycling regulations have prompted a resolution on behalf of small communities without recycling programs. The Fraser-Fort George Regional District is calling for recycling collection services to be offered wherever fees are being collected from retailers for packaging and printed paper products.

 

Just Posted

Live music scene at Osborne Bay Pub a paradise for musicians, audience

Berry takes it the next level with an impressive schedule featuring many different genres

Osborne Bay Pub executive chef appeals to music patrons’ tastes

Being part of a creative enterprise suits Lavoie

‘Outside Mullingar’ follows two Irish people along the bumpy road to happiness

John Patrick Shanley’s play looks at how a couple’s relationship can reflect their love of the land

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Christopher Justice wants more long term thinking at North Cowichan council

Economic prosperity through environmental stewardship, says Justice

Lexi Bainas column: Mystery, history, music, painting, and pottery: we’ve got a basketful for you this week

From Deathtrap to JW-Jones and Sue Coleman, there are many A&E surprises out there

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Cowichan Coffee Time: 70th anniversary, fundraising, new face

• The Cowichan Lake Golden Agers Society is gearing up for their… Continue reading

Most Read