The Municipality of North Cowichan has received a provincial grant for $110,345 to develop detailed plans for its high-fire risk areas, and develop a wildfire development permit area.
High-risk fire areas in North Cowichan include the western side of Crofton, Mount Tzouhalem, and the communications tower area at the top of Maple Mountain.
The funding is coming from the Community Resiliency Investment FireSmart Community and Support Program.
According to a press release from the municipality, the development of a wildfire development permit area will update and modernize current guidelines to establish more effective wildfire protection regulations.
Further prescriptions are also required in critical infrastructure areas to protect municipal assets such as reservoirs, pump stations, and fire halls.
Types of recommendations can include vegetation clearing, tree pruning and/or removal, ground debris removal, or other modifications, such as installing or replacing items with fire-resistant materials.
“This funding is key in being able to implement the actions identified in our updated community wildfire protection plan,” said Mayor Al Siebring.
“We have succeeded in receiving funding from this provincial program for three years in a row, giving us the resources to build capacity and make these improvements for a safer, more resilient community.”
The FireSmart Community Funding & Supports program provides funding to local governments and First Nations in British Columbia to undertake community-based FireSmart planning and activities that reduce the community’s risk from wildfire. A Request for Proposals to complete the work will be issued this spring.
The work is expected to take place over the summer, with completion in the fall of 2021.