Crews battling the Nanaimo Lakes wildfire. File photo.

Crews battling the Nanaimo Lakes wildfire in 2018. File photo.

The B.C. Government has announced almost $300,000 in wildfire risk reduction grants for Greater Victoria, the Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo region.

The funds are part of the province’s commitment to reduce wildfire threats and will be used for a variety of initiatives such as education, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, cross-training and FireSmart activities on private land.

The following funds have been announced by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:

  • Capital Regional Disctict : $100,000
  • North Saanich: $43,300
  • Central Saanich: $25,000
  • Cowichan Valley (Including CVRD and North Cowichan): around $81,000
  • Regional District of Nanaimo: $47,390
The around $296,690 for the Island is part of the $6 million community resiliency investment grants provided to 85 municipalities, regional districts and First Nations throughout the province following the program’s first application intake.

It was established in September 2018 with $50 million to assist local governments and First Nations to lower wildfire risks around their communities.

The funding follows the 2018 wildfire season which was declared as the worst yet.  Last year saw 12,985 square kilometers of land burned, topping the 12,161 in 2017 that previously held the record.

The ministry says a key component of the program is that it lets communities apply for funding to cover up to 100 per cent of a wildfire risk reduction project. Eligible applicants facing a lower wildfire risk can apply for up to $25,000, while applicants facing a demonstrated higher wildfire risk can apply for up to $100,000.

With files from the CBC