Nakusp taking part in project to reduce wildfire risks

Trust provides over $1 million to protect communities

The Village of Nakusp is partnering with two other communities and the regional government for an experimental Firesmarting project.

It’s one of several projects the Columbia Basin Trust announced last week as part of a $1 million investment into reducing fire risk in communities.

“While the ground remains snowy, communities throughout the Columbia Basin are thinking ahead to how they can reduce the risks of wildfires,” the Trust statement reads. “Several projects will be helping to keep people and places safer with over $1 million from Columbia Basin Trust’s community wildfire program.”

Several successful projects are using innovative methods or spreading the word by educating the public and others.

One collaborative effort in the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK). With a $493,000 grant, the partnership between Creston, Kaslo, Nakusp and the RDCK will use various treatments and methodologies to explore ways to reduce wildfire fuels surrounding their communities.

The findings will then be analyzed to develop prescription guidelines and performance standards that other communities can use and learn from to protect themselves from wildfire.

“The completed pilot projects will directly help mitigate the impacts of wildfire on the communities of Creston, Kaslo and Nakusp,” said Joel Hamilton, wildfire mitigation supervisor.

“They will also demonstrate a high level of collaboration between key players, from municipalities to recreation groups, and provide findings for other communities to potentially benefit from.”

Another seven projects are receiving over $127,000 to help communities educate the public about wildfire risks and teach property owners and others about the actions they can take to reduce the impacts of community wildfires.

Those include $25,000 for the RDEK to hire a FireSmart coordinator to educate resides on how to reduce wildfire risk on private properties.

The Trust also provides advice to communities through a wildfire advisor.

These projects are in addition to the more than $1.5 million the Trust has already provided since 2012 to help communities prepare for and reduce the risks of wildfires.

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