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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Racist incidents on the rise in the Okanagan as coronavirus spreads

UBCO professor not surprised by recent incidents

Ministry proposing dust control plan for Westside Rd.

Dust from industrial operations in the area is a concern

Snow tonight in Revelstoke

High plus one today

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Fire crews battle large blaze in West Kelowna

Reports of multiple structures on fire in the Colleen Road area

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Most Read