Wildfire Risk Reduction

Enhanced Protection
What's New?
West Kelowna Council’s resolution seeking a province-wide wildfire protection program for both public and private lands from the Province of British Columbia was passed by the Union of BC Municipalities membership Thursday, September 27.
Wildfire Mitigation - RDCO Image
The Resolution
Delegates, in attendance at the annual convention in Victoria, voted to send the following West Kelowna resolution to the provincial government for consideration:

Whereas the Province of British Columbia continues to experience wildfires due to effective fire suppression activities, drying weather trends and mountain pine beetle infestations on Crown, Public and Private lands;

And whereas the Province of British Columbia government:

Commissioned the “Firestorm 2003 Report” (Filmon Report) to provide recommendations to prevent future wildfire events; and,

Provides limited funding for local governments to implement Community Wildfire Protection Plans on Crown and Public lands; however,

Does not provide funding for or require fuel mitigation works to be conducted on private lands leaving such regulation to individual local governments to establish, enforce and assume the liability associated with those programs:

Therefore be it resolved that the Union of BC Municipalities lobby the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to enact provincial standards to ensure a province-wide comprehensive wildfire protection and works program is established, funded, executed and enforced for both private and public lands beginning with those lands at highest risk and immediately adjacent to residential areas.

Accomplishments
Recognizing the need for enhanced community wildfire protection, the District of West Kelowna endorsed the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) (PDF) in spring 2009.

Prepared by consultant Davies Wildfire Management, the West Kelowna CWPP is a comprehensive examination of wildfire risk in interface areas - areas where built structures (homes) are next to or among forested areas. Hazard ratings are assigned by analyzing different factors including tree densities, ground fuels, terrain, geography, housing density, water availability and risks of ignition. The West Kelowna CWPP identifies 65 future areas for treatment.

The operational works for these 65 areas are comprehensive, expensive and largely cost prohibitive under municipal taxation. Many of the identified areas are privately-owned.

January 25, 2011
The City of West Kelowna cleaned up forest fire fuel on District and Crown land within City boundaries (completed April 2011), funded through a Government of British Columbia Community Operational Fuel Management grant, awarded in September 2010 through the Union of BC Municipalities. Funding could only be applied to projects on District-owned or Crown land.

Contact Us
For additional information, please contact one of the following departments:
  • Parks and Fleet Department: 778-797-8849
  • West Kelowna Fire Rescue (non-emergency): 250-769-1640
  • Communications Department: 778-797-2253