FireSmart program to target private landowners

Clearwater is getting a $10,000 grant from Union of BC Municipalities to become a FireSmart community

District of Clearwater is getting a $10,000 grant from Union of BC Municipalities to educate and work with private landowners to become a FireSmart community, according to a recent media release.

In 2009-2011 the District worked with local contractors to complete 327 ha of fuel management on Crown lands within the community, other public lands (Interior Health, School District 73, Wells Gray Community Forest and woodlots) and Thompson Nicola Regional District Area A (Wells Gray Country).

Further to that the District engaged a specialist to author a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

This plan has identified high-risk areas within our community noting that private landowners are the key to preventing wildfires within our community.

For the first time, Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) and the province are providing funding to specifically address wildfire interface issues on private property.

“The groundwork has been laid for this to be successful,” notes CAO Groulx. “It is our plan to engage local point persons in specific neighborhood.”

“It is our intention to work with the local land owners to provide education on easy ways to complete fire mitigation on their property. We want to work with the youth through the schools – they will take the message home, and local stakeholder like the Clearwater Fire Centre and local neighborhood point people that can assist in educating and engaging the community to FireSmart their properties,” said Fire Chief Mike Smith.

District of Clearwater and its fire department are looking for local neighborhood point persons to come forward from the Dutch Lake, Weyerhaeuser and Wyndhaven Subdivisions, Lake Summit area, Greer Subdivision, Raft River area, and Sunshine Valley area.

Public engagement sessions are planned for May and October 2016.