Coming up in November, the City of Kimberley will be hosting an open house to get residents up to date on the wildfire risk reduction work going on in, and surrounding, the city.
“We have three separate projects ongoing, all in the wildfire risk reduction category,” said Mayor Don McCormick.
“First, there’s the Community Resilience Investment grant for $680,000 for work going on in the city. That program is over two years.”
Another project involves moving out of the city itself into the St. Mary Valley, and building some kind of fire guard.
This project, the Kimberley Southwest Wildfire Risk Reduction project, is in its early stages and is very complex, McCormick says, because there are so many agencies and stakeholders involved.
Those outside agencies include CanFor, the Regional District of East Kootenay and the Ktunaxa, among others.
“Right now we are just scoping the project,” he said. “There would be no actual physical work for at least a year. We have to find grants.”
McCormick is very pleased with the level of engagement from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources, and Rural Development staff.
“The Ministry is driving this, they are chairing the meetings and bringing the stakeholders together. It’s very complicated because there are so many groups, so many activities, trying to piece it all together is complicated. But I’m happy everyone is working to the common goal.”
The other ongoing project is collecting historic watershed data, with the goal of understanding how wildfires behaved historically in Kimberley’s watersheds.
McCormick says the city will be sending out information to residents prior to the open house, which is tentatively scheduled for November.