RDN seeks funding to reduces fires on Gabriola and elsewhere

·1 min read

The Regional District of Nanaimo will submit a grant application for fire safety activities and fuel management prescriptions, including for Descanso Bay Regional Park and Cox Community Park.

The $153,387 request to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ Community Resiliency Investment Fund is to cover fuel management prescriptions for five regional district parks in total. Prescriptions describe wildfire risk and recommend fuel management activities to minimize fires. The five parks were selected due to their locations in the wildfire urban interface, proximity to residential properties, wildfire risk or historic fire activities within their boundaries. Descanso Bay was chosen due to the high-risk activities that occur within the campground. The highly vegetated area would benefit from fuel treatment, a staff report says, as well as a fuel prescription to address reducing the intensity of a wildfire should one ignite in the park boundary.

About 22 hectares of the 44-hectare Cox Community Park would be the subject of a fuel prescription. Cox and Descanso Bay parks both abut Taylor Bay Road.

In partnership with the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department, the RDN is also seeking funding for a regional FireSmart coordinator who would work with fire departments on educational components such as home and neighbourhood assessments and vegetation management.

“The Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department was instrumental in supporting the RDN’s FireSmart initiatives on Gabriola Island in 2019 and 2020,” an RDN staff report says.

A total of $45,458 of the requested grant money would go to Electoral Area B initiatives.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

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