The B.C. government continues to look ahead to what could be another summer of dry and extremely hot conditions, with funding announced Friday to restore more of the province’s forests.
About $134 million is being divided to the regions that were hardest hit in last year’s wildfire season for 71 forest enhancement projects. The biggest share – $99 million – going towards projects in the Cariboo.
The rest of the cash will be split between the Kootenays, Okanagan and coastal communities:
- $4.47 million to the Thompson-Okanagan
- $5 million to the South Coast
- $3.4 million to the West Coast
- $1.7 million to the Skeena
- $1.5 million to the Omineca
- $803,050 to the Northeast
- $2.1 million to Kootenay-Boundary
- $15 million to projects that are province-wide
About 30 per cent of those projects will be led by First Nations in the area.
The fires on the Chilcotin Plateau, which includes Williams Lake and Quesnel, destroyed nearly 550,000 hectares of land, or roughly the same size as Prince Edward Island, making it the largest overall fire in B.C’s recorded history.
The Gustafsen fire just west of 100 Mile House prompted the first set of evacuation orders in July.
Overall, 1.2 million hectares of land was burned between April and September last year, forcing up to 65,000 people from their homes, all costing more than $568 million.