Penticton fire department seeks $20,000 grant funding for wildfire prevention initiatives

FILE - New B.C. Wildfire recruits create a hand guard, a tool used to help prevent wildfires from spreading. Penticton city council is supporting the fire department's grant applications for wildfire prevention initiatives.

PENTICTON - Penticton city council has thrown their support behind the fire department's grant applications to beef up wildfire prevention initiatives.

Deputy Chief Dave Spalding says the department is applying for two Union of BC Municipalities grants worth a total of $20,000.

Spalding explained the 10 year old strategic wildfire program needed updates to include spatial data and the the provincial threat assessment system, which didn’t exist when the original program was put together in 2006.

He said Penticton's growth into high hazard areas has also changed in the past 10 years, with more growth expected in the next decade. An updated plan will take these factors into account, and would open doors for additional grant funding.

If the firefighters get the Community Wildfire Strategic Plan grant, 50 per cent of the $10,000 would come from the city. The Fire Smart grant is fully funded by the province.

The Fire Smart money would support residents who undertake fire smart planning activities on private lands and would be used for training staff to be local fire smart representatives to conduct site visits and the development of fire smart community plans for specific areas. They would also hold fire smart days and awareness events, as well as create a fire smart communications strategy.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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