Canada — In April 2011, the ministry announced new funding of $25 million for the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative. This initiative supports the development of community wildfire protection plans (CWPPs) and fuel management projects in interface areas where urban development borders on forested lands. The Union of B.C. Municipalities administers the funding, distributing grants to communities on behalf of the B.C. government.
Fuel management is the ongoing process of mitigating the risk of wildfire damage by reducing the amount of waste wood, tree needles, brush and other flammable material that could ‘fuel’ a grassland fire or forest fire.
“These changes will ease the financial burden on local governments undertaking wildfire risk reduction projects,” said Mary Sjostrom, president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. “UBCM appreciates the ongoing support of the provincial government for communities through the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative.”
The cost-sharing formula for operational fuel reduction treatments funded through the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative will change effective January 1, 2013. The Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative will pay 90 per cent of the project cost, with an annual cap of $400,000 for municipalities and First Nations and an annual cap of $600,000 for regional districts. The remaining 10 per cent can be an in-kind contribution (e.g. staff time) or a cash payment from the municipality, regional district or First Nation making the application.
Previously, the initiative provided 90 per cent of the project funding up to $100,000 and 75 per cent of the remaining cost, up to a maximum of $400,000 per year.
Operational fuel reduction treatments may include: removing dead trees; increasing the spacing between live trees; trimming back low-hanging tree branches; and removing or burning off vegetation and wood debris that could potentially fuel a wildfire.
“This change in the funding formula should encourage more municipalities, regional districts and First Nations to develop community wildfire protection plans and undertake fuel management projects to help protect their communities from wildfire,” stated Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. “Our government is making it easier for BC communities to take these important steps in protecting their communities from wildfire.” The failure was in the forest areas.Advertisement
Following a 10-year strategy, ACT fire managers have created a mosaic across the landscape of different fuel levels, burning at every opportunity.
But forests have been too wet to burn this spring and the past two summers.
A network of 500 fire trails and strategic burns along the north-west urban edge, heavy grazing and extra grass slashing will create a fortress for the territory which forecasters say faces a higher than average risk this summer.
After a fire-fuelled tornado in January 2003 killed four Canberrans and frightened thousands more, CSIRO fire expert Phil Cheney told the subsequent inquiry the fire’s penetration into urban areas under extreme conditions did not reflect a failure of fuel management on the urban interface.