Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans to be developed for each of the seven Electoral Areas within the Regional District of Nanaimo. (PQB News file photo)

Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans to be developed for each of the seven Electoral Areas within the Regional District of Nanaimo. (PQB News file photo)

Regional District of Nanaimo gets grant for wildfire resiliency planning

Money to be used to help reduce risk, impact of wildfires

The Regional District of Nanaimo has been approved for a grant of $384,960 for Electoral Area Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning.

The Community Resiliency Investment FireSmart grant, funded by the British Columbia government and administered by the Union of BC Municipalities, will enable the RDN to develop new Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans for each of the seven Electoral Areas within the RDN to reduce the risk and impact of wildfires.

Development of Fuel Management Prescriptions for the 707 Community Park on Gabriola Island and the RDN Arboretum property (formerly the H.R. MacMillan Grant Ainscough Arboretum) will also be covered by the grant.

“In consideration of the wildfires we have had in the region in recent years, the update to the RDN’s Community Wildfire Protection Plans is timely,” said chair Tyler Brown. “This substantial grant will enable the RDN to replace its CWPPs with sustainable and adaptable CWRPs that ensure effective fire mitigation and response in our region over the long term.”

READ MORE: Parksville Qualicum Beach projects receive more than $1M in provincial funds

Multiple community stakeholder groups will be engaged including First Nation communities, municipal partners, Electoral Area fire departments, BC Wildfire, Mosaic Forest Management, Islands Trust and others.

Collaboration with key representatives will ensure that the plan reflects local knowledge and expertise and includes achievable actions that can be implemented under a common vision to reduce the intensity and impacts of wildfires and increase community resiliency.

Once complete, the Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans will help shape community plans, promote bylaws, identify high priority areas, and facilitate discussions and cooperation among stakeholders to improve community safety and reduce the risk of property damage.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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