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

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Blockades violating people’s rights to move freely

Too many protesters clearly believe their rights supersede other citizens’ rights, says letter writer

Quarterway, Cilaire have the right touch in football playoffs

Nanaimo Elementary Teachers’ Physical Education Association organized leagues this past fall

Students projected to be in new wing of École Hammond Bay in two years

Project to expand north-end French immersion school to add 13 classrooms

Crimson Coast Dance Society salutes African dance during Black History Month

Dancers from Mozambique, Rwanda and Cameroon to give demonstrations and lessons

Nanaimo Clippers, clad in Snuneymuxw jerseys, win in OT

BCHL team wins both its weekend games to stay in contention for first place on the Island

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

Nanaimo a capital city in the beard business – Wildman Beard Co.

Wildman Beard Co. gained early success with Nanaimo mill workers

Nanaimo a capital city in the beard business – Big City Beards

Big City Beards inspired by an itch that had to be scratched

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Captain says nothing beats VIU volleyball program

Graduating player Andrea Cankovic has three national titles and isn’t quite done yet

Most Read