Council asked to OK application for $300K wildfire protection grant

City may seek wildfire grant

City staff will ask Kamloops city council this week to authorize an application for grant funding to help prevent potential future wildfires from damaging property in several areas within city boundaries.

If the application is successful, the $300,000 grant, provided through the Union of BC Municipalities’ 2021 Community Resiliency Investment Program, would be combined with $100,000 from city funds to treat over 45 hectares of land identified as high risk for wildfires.

In a written report to council, city staff identify areas in Juniper Ridge, Kenna Cartwright Park and Barnhartvale as areas of high priority to undergo wildfire mitigation treatments and prime for fuel management.

Parts of the Juniper Ridge area were treated over 10 years ago, and staff say new housing and forest growth make larger mitigation efforts necessary.

Kenna Cartwright Park is prioritized as it is a popular recreation area, and home to communication towers.

The city has completed wildfire prevention work under the Community Wildfire Protection Plan. In their report, city staff say this grant would help “fill in the gaps left in previous treatments”, and extend fire prevention treatments in other areas that have grown due to new development.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, city staff report that wildfire mitigation treatments occurred in Iron Mask, Westsyde at O’Connor Road, and through Kenna Cartwright Park.

City council is expected to vote on the application on Tuesday.

More Kamloops News