Okanagan, B.C.: watersheds within the Okanagan basin will soon be better protected through the development of a plan to reduce wildfire risk thanks in part to $663,910 in funding granted by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC). Four water purveyors in the Okanagan are proactively working together with Frontline Operations Group Ltd. (FLO) to protect this vital community resource in the immediate future and in the long term.

“We are incredibly grateful to FESBC for funding these projects as they may not have happened otherwise,” said John Davies, RPF, Wildfire Management Specialist with FLO. “Although these are separate watershed projects in the Okanagan, all work is collaborative because they are adjacent to one another and wildfires know no boundaries. Our immediate focus is to prescribe treatment operations to address the wildfire risk around critical areas within the watersheds.”

The four water purveyors involved are the District of Lake Country (Oyama and Vernon Creek Watersheds – receiving $142,860 in FESBC funding), the Regional District North Okanagan (Duteau Watershed – receiving $146,235 in FESBC funding), Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District (Kelowna Community Watershed – receiving $140,910 in FESBC funding), and Black Mountain Irrigation District (Mission Creek Watershed – receiving $233,905.00 in FESBC funding). Work will occur around residential developments as well as critical infrastructure associated with water intakes, treatment facilities, and communication towers essential to safe operations of the watersheds.

Plans are underway for Open Houses to share information with community members and the media to outline project scope and answer questions.