A fire mitigation project that has been connecting people with new skills and opportunities while helping seniors and persons with disabilities in the Cariboo fire smart their homes has been extended by four months.
The project launched in August 2018 and was originally scheduled to end in April this year.
108 Mile homeowner Ken Wiebe said they were evacuated 15 days in 2017.
“There are people out here who would be absolutely helpless if that happens again,” he said.
“The work is very necessary.”
264 FireSmart assessments and 220 mitigations have currently been completed through the initiative that is supported by a government-funded job creation project supported by United Way.
The goal is to complete 100 more.
“In being able to provide FireSmart activities at no charge to vulnerable people in communities impacted by wildfires, those homeowners feel better prepared and less stressed,” said Monica Johnson, fire mitigation project manager, United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo.
“The training and experience we provide to the participants are relevant and definitely increases their employability,” she added.
“We’ve had several participants exit the program because they’ve gotten jobs.”
Through the extension of the project, 16 people will work this summer to help educate homeowners and remove vegetation that can fuel a wildfire in the communities of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, Clinton, and Quesnel.