Canadian Forces troops arrive in Quesnel for forest fire duty in 2017. More armed forces were deployed in B.C. this summer to help with record wildfire activity. (Canadian Forces photo)

B.C. communities call for wildfire prevention help

Tax, insurance cuts proposed for private land ‘fire smart’ efforts

As Canadian Forces troops headed home from the second straight year of record B.C. wildfires, local politicians called for new incentives for property owners to reduce forest fuels on their land.

Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention supported a motion from Williams Lake on Thursday, calling for tax breaks and reduced home insurance rates for people who make their properties more resistant to wildfire.

The motion calls for options including “reduced home insurance rates upon certification of adequate ‘fire smart’ status, a tax rebate in correlation to the amount of fibre removed from property to achieve ‘fire smart’ status, and/or a reduction in property taxes once certification of ‘fire smart’ status is achieved.”

The proposal calls on the Insurance Bureau of Canada to consider the reduced rates.

Quesnel council had two resolutions. One noted “very little has been done” to implement the recommendations of the 2003 report from former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon to tackle the fuel load. It called for the province to take the lead on community wildfire protection.

“The fundamental weakness in the current approach to protecting interface communities from wildfire risk is the downloading of responsibility for managing and treating Crown forest land to local government,” the resolution states.

Quesnel also called for the province to toughen penalties for wildfire-related crime, after reports of trespassing and theft in fire evacuation zones.

RELATED: 2018 passes 2017 as B.C.’s biggest wildfire year

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced Thursday that he has notified the federal government that the Canadian Armed Forces are no longer needed to assist with wildfire mop-up and security.

“This will now enable the orderly withdrawal of ground troops, command personnel, aircraft and equipment,” Farnworth said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislaturebc wildfires

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford author releases book of poetry and meditations

Sophia Campbell’s Hark Valley a depiction of her ‘spiritual journey’

Man wanted for ramming police car and almost hitting bystanders in Abbotsford

Police say Lorne Guilbault ‘engages in high-risk criminal driving behaviour’

Lavender hand sanitizer sale raises cash for Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Golf course and lavender farm partner up to support health care in the Fraser Valley

Cooling stations to open in Mission

Once the temperature hits 29 degrees Celsius, the stations will open

‘Unusual smell’ in Mission and Abbotsford tap water not a health concern, says City of Abbotsford

Odour is just due to temporary supply switch due to treatment-plant maintenance, city says

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

BCSPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read