Helicopter drops water on a Read Island fire in 2019. Wildfire protection funding is coming for North Island communities. Photo by Stuart Clark/Eagle Eye Adventures

North Island communities see wildfire funding

Roughly $9 million awarded across province

Three north island communities will be receiving funding for emergency planning to reduce wildfire risk this year, thanks to a provincial grant.

Homalco First Nation, Port McNeill and Quatsino First Nation will all be benefitting from the program, which will go twards education and emergency planning in the communities. Homalco First Nation will be receiving $18,975 for education and planning and Port McNeill and Quatsino will both receive $25,000 to assist with planning. Comox Valley also received some funding to help with education and cross-training.

North Island MLA Claire Trevena welcomed the funding, saying “ “People in the North Island want to be prepared for the risk of wildfires… This funding will help communities put an emergency plan in place and make sure that people are familiar with wildfire prevention and response.”

Funding was awarded to 89 local governments and First Nations across the province. Total funding amounted to roughly $8.7 million through the provincial Community Resiliency Investment program. The program supports FireSmart initiatives in communities, and helps with fuel management.

“Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are on the front lines of wildfire prevention, and we removed barriers so our Community Resiliency Investment program met their needs,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in a government press release.

The CRI program was launched in 2018.

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marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

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