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

Scarlet fever reported at Victoria elementary school

Parents advised to look for symptoms of ‘strawberry tongue’ and rash

Saanich dog walkers react to potential review of bylaws allowing off-leash dogs on beaches

Focus should have remained on migratory birds, not on dog behaviour, says Cadboro Bay dog walker

No dogs allowed off-leash at Luxton Fairgrounds in Langford

New sign placed by Metchosin Farmers Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 19

North Saanich’s Deep Cove Market up for sale for almost $1.8 million

Long-time owner Rosemary Scott hopes the public will understand her decision

Council approve temporary storage to extend life of Oak Bay Fire Hall

It’s cute, it’s iconic, but the picturesque Oak Bay Fire Hall is… Continue reading

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read