Regional District of Nanaimo to use grant to develop new wildfire resiliency plans

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The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) has been approved for a grant of $384,960 to help reduce the risk and impact of wildfires.

The Community Resiliency Investment FireSmartTM grant is funded by the province and administered by the Union of BC Municipalities. It will enable the RDN to create new Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans (CWRPs) for each of the seven electoral areas, according to a news release from the regional district.

“In consideration of the wildfires we have had in the region in recent years, the update to the RDN’s Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) is timely,” said Chair Tyler Brown.

The RDN said updates to its CWPPs, which were created between 2004 and 2009, were identified as priority in past operational plans.

“This substantial grant will enable the RDN to replace its CWPPs with sustainable and adaptable CWRPs that ensure effective fire mitigation and response in our region over the long term,” Brown said.

Multiple community stakeholder groups will be engaged, including First Nation communities, municipal partners, electoral area fire departments, BC Wildfire, Mosaic Forest Management and Islands Trust. 

“Collaboration with key representatives will ensure that the plan reflects local knowledge and expertise and includes achievable actions that can be implemented under a common vision to reduce the intensity and impacts of wildfires and increase community resiliency,” reads a news release from the RDN.

It said the new resiliency plans will promote bylaws, identify high priority areas and facilitate discussions and cooperation among stakeholders to improve community safety and reduce risk of property damage.

Development of fuel management prescriptions for the 707 Community Park on Gabriola Island and the RDN Arboretum property (formerly the H.R. MacMillan Grant Ainscough Arboretum) will also be covered by the grant.

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