Campbell River, BC – The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) has been awarded grant funding to develop 8 Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP’s) for various communities and areas within the region. These plans will further the Regional District’s efforts to reduce wildfire by identifying the risks of wildland/urban interface fires within and surrounding the region.
The $175,000 Community Resiliency Investment grant from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) will be used to improve aerial imaging and update community wildfire protection plans in the following areas within the Regional District: Sayward Valley in Electoral Area A; Villages of Gold River, Sayward, Tahsis and Zeballos and adjacent areas; Nuchatlaht and Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations and adjacent areas; and Read Island in Electoral Area C.
“The Community Wildfire Protection Plan is a crucial step in better preparing homeowners and communities to reduce the risk of loss” says Strathcona Regional District Chair Michele Babchuk. “The plans will describe the consequences of a wildfire and examine the possible ways to reduce risk by making recommendations to lessen wildfire threats and impacts to our region.”
Given the sheer scale of extreme weather events in the 21st century, partnerships between and among governments, local and First Nations communities and others are vital to more effectively and quickly respond to emergencies when they occur.
“We are all in this together, no matter what those jurisdictions might be. Sometimes, you have to really look beyond jurisdictional boundaries” says Emergency Coordinator for Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h, Elizabeth Jack. “Large wildfires may become a new norm that will demand a major shift in thinking. Critical to that equation is partnership and working collaboratively to plan for a new paradigm.”
The next step in developing these plans will be GIS mapping utilizing the 2019 Provincial Strategic Threat Analysis (PSTA) Data Package. The contract for this work was awarded to SuavAir Operations, based out of Campbell River following a competitive procurement process. Key community stakeholders such as Fire Chiefs, Emergency Coordinators, Chief Administrative Officers, Planning Departments and the Surge Narrows Forest Advisory Committee will help inform the plans. Community presentations will be held near the end of the project. To learn more about your Community’s current Wildfire Protection Plan visit https://srd.ca/community-wildfire-protection-plans/.
The Strathcona Regional District is a partnership of four electoral areas and five municipalities providing services to approximately 44,000 residents.
Media contact: Shaun Koopman, SRD Protective Services Coordinator
250-830-6702 | firstname.lastname@example.org