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

Police encourage the public to register their bicycles

It helps to have pictures, make and model in the recovery process from thefts

UPDATED with VIDEO and PHOTOS: One person treated for minor burns in Crofton fire Monday morning

Firefighters were called out at 7 a.m. to a blaze at the Twin Gables Motel

Public engagement on North Cowichan forest reserve begins this month

Consulting firm presents engagement plan at North Cowichan council meeting

SD79 finalizes $106-million budget for 2019-20

$2.1-million increase in revenue from previous year

Tax rate hikes keep accelerating

Decision to hire an assistant fire chief after previously rejecting it not a good idea

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

UPDATE: Two missing scout leaders found near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, prior to search for two leaders who’d gone for help

Most Read