Community Resiliency Investment Program

CRI banner

The Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) program was introduced by the provincial government in September 2018. The BC Wildfire Service works closely with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, the forest industry, natural resource districts, BC Parks, Mountain Resorts Branch, and various other stakeholders to reduce wildfire risks and wildfire impacts in British Columbia. Communities are provided funding and support to complete FireSmart™ initiatives, including priority fuel management activities, on provincial Crown land and on private land.

There are two delivery and funding mechanisms within CRI: FireSmart Community Funding and Supports (FCFS), and Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction (WRR)Additional CRI resources can be found on the FireSmart BC website.

 

FireSmart Community Funding and Supports: Learn More 

 

Crown Land Wildfire Risk Reduction: Learn More

 

Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning

Community Wildfire Protection Plans were introduced in 2004 as part of the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative. They have served as the primary wildfire planning documents for communities in BC ever since, and they typically guide wildfire risk reduction activities for a period of three to five years. In partnership with the BC FireSmart Committee, the BC Wildfire Service is conducting a comprehensive review of the B.C. government’s approach to community wildfire resiliency planning.

This review process represents a unique opportunity to learn from previous Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) and current science on community wildfire resiliency and apply them to the development of the new Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning process. Key goals of the Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning process are to: increase communities’ capacity and understanding of wildfire risk; foster greater collaboration across administrative boundaries; and be more responsive to the needs of different types of communities throughout B.C. (in terms of their size, their capacity and the threats they face).

The new Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning (CWRP) framework will eventually replace the current Community Wildfire Protection Plan process, but existing current Community Wildfire Protection Plans will remain valid. The Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning framework is expected to be fully implemented by spring 2020 and will be linked directly to Crown land planning activities led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and by BC Parks.

The Community Wildfire Protection Plan process is being reviewed now to better support the Community Resiliency Investment program. This approach will result in more effective wildfire risk reduction activities, incorporate all seven FireSmart disciplines, and better align with emergency planning requirements in British Columbia.

Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning will also support the Community Resiliency Investment program’s focus on:

  • Developing community capacity and leadership related to wildfire risk management
  • FireSmart activities on private land and critical infrastructure
  • Development permit area planning for wildfire risk reduction
  • Inter-agency collaboration through Regional FireSmart Committees
  • other FireSmart activities

For more information about the seven FireSmart disciplines and the BC FireSmart Committee, visit: FireSmart B.C.

This will benefit communities by incorporating lessons learned from recent interface fires, current community wildfire planning practices (both in Canada and in the U.S.) and the latest science on how to reduce the chances of a structure igniting when a wildfire occurs.

A key shift in the Community Wildfire Resiliency Planning framework is the engagement of local government and indigenous communities in developing the actual planning process. The goals are to ensure that the final plan documents incorporate local knowledge, are easily understandable, are accessible to the community, and meaningful to the people who live there.

The B.C. government is committed to undertaking fuel management on Crown land and is working to increase opportunities for the forest sector to participate in fuel management treatments.

A comprehensive review of representative Community Wildfire Protection Plans from throughout B.C. is underway to determine how well they incorporate the seven FireSmart disciplines. The government also wants to help communities learn more about FireSmart disciplines that haven’t been included as frequently as others in Community Wildfire Protection Plans (e.g. development permit areas), so communities can benefit from including them in future plans.

Similar programs from elsewhere in North America were also reviewed for guidance on addressing community wildfire resilience in B.C

 

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