The province is providing millions for a new position at Thompson Rivers University, as well as grants for community wildfire risk reduction.
$5-million is going towards creating a fire science chair at Thompsons River University. Mike Flannigan, an award-winning researcher and leading expert on wildfire behaviour has been named as the research chair in predictive services, emergency management, and fire science at TRU.
Flannigan’s research goals include developing methods to help predict when and where extreme fire weather may arise, where wildfires could start under those conditions and development of early warning wildfire notification systems. Flannigan will start in July, and will be working with the BC Wildfire Service.
“This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with the BC Wildfire Service, emergency management agencies and academic institutions,” Flannigan says, “The wildfire landscape is becoming more challenging and demanding due to climate change, so I’m excited to help shape the future of wildfire prediction and analysis as part of a collective research effort.”
In addition, $15-million is going towards the Community Resiliency Investment program, which provides grants to 118 local governments and First Nations to fund wildfire risk reduction activities.