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Nearly $200K in wildfire prevention funds granted to Port Moody, Coquitlam

B.C. is helping Coastal Fire Centre communities reduce the risk of future blazes with money for planning, training and education.
BC Wildfire Service dousing a hot spot in a forest.

As nearly 3,000 firefighters are battling blazes in B.C.’s interior, the province is hoping some funding can mitigate potential hot spots in the Tri-Cities.

This week, forests minister Katrine Conroy announced just under $200,000 in grants for the cities of Port Moody and Coquitlam.

The money is earmarked for wildfire prevention and initiatives to help keep their respective communities safe should a blaze take place unexpectedly.

This was a slice of a more than $4.3-million pie for 42 Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments within the Coastal Fire Centre, known as the Community Resiliency Investment program.

Port Moody is receiving a total of $149,946, which is set to be put towards wildfire risk prevention in the form of education, planning, development and fuel management.

Also on the table are funds for inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, cross-training, FireSmart demos and FireSmart for residential areas.

For Coquitlam, the city is getting $50,000 to assist with education and planning for possible fires.

"Mitigating wildfire threats is crucial to help safeguard people, homes and businesses throughout the province," said Conroy in a release. 

"Since the Community Resiliency Investment program was established in 2018, our government has approved 366 grants to local governments and First Nations totalling over $37 million."

Via the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), both Port Moody and Coquitlam put submissions forward for the investments.

As Port Moody made its case as a community with a higher risk of wildfires given the environment within its proximity, it received the maximum amount an application can receive.

Coquitlam has a lower wildfire risk and therefore, received the $50,000 maximum through the FireSmart Community Funding and Supports category.

Both cities currently have a “High” fire-risk rating and are encouraging residents to take all precautions.

You’re encouraged to visit the Port Moody and Coquitlam websites for safety tips and advice.