Cariboo region awarded $99M for forest restoration projects
The Forest Enhance Society of B.C. announced funds to help communities hit hard by the 2017 wildfires
The Cariboo region of B.C. will receive funds from the province to help with forest restoration and prevention measures after last summer's devastating wildfires.
This week, the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. announced a total of $134-million to help regions across the province, with the bulk of it going to the Cariboo.
Steve Kozuki , the executive director of the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C., says reforestation is typically done by forest companies that harvest trees, but because the 2017 wildfire season was so severe and unprecedented, more funds were necessary.
"The big part of it will be used to replant areas that otherwise wouldn't be replanted and that provides a lot of environmental benefits," Kozuki said.
When it comes to prevention, Kozuki says the money will be divided up between the districts that were hit hard.
The money will go toward reducing tree density and vegetation in the areas adjacent to communities. This vegetation — known as fuel ladders by firefighters — include small grasses, shrubs, leaves, stems and tree branches.
They often cause fires to spread from forest floor to tree tops.
"Hopefully that will give the brave men and women — the firefighters — a chance to control those fires a bit better and protect our citizens and our communities," said Kozuki.
He is hopeful the new initiatives will have an impact.
"We're still going to have to healthy forests in the future."
With files from Radio West