Wildfire DP Area Project

In order to help mitigate the risk of wildfires in the region, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) is undertaking a Wildfire Hazard Mapping and Development Permit Area Guidelines Project.

This project will be undertaken with the assistance of B.A. Blackwell and Associates Ltd, a company specializing in professional forestry and environmental management services. It will provide Wildfire Hazard GIS Mapping for all RDOS Electoral Areas, and Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Area Guidelines for potential future inclusion into RDOS Electoral Area Official Community Plan bylaws.

The project begins in June 2020, and includes two Phases:

Phase 1: Wildfire Hazard GIS Mapping

Phase 1 of the project includes defining and mapping wildfire hazards for all nine RDOS Electoral Areas, and producing quality GIS data that can be used for potential Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Areas. This technical exercise will include identifying all areas with vulnerability to wildfire (high hazard areas) and creating reliable GIS data for the next Phase of the project. This work will build upon the fire threat assessment being completed in the RDOS Community Wildfire Protection Plan Update.

Phase 2: Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Area Guidelines

Phase 2 of the project includes creating a Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Area (DPA) guidelines for potential incorporation into all RDOS Electoral Area Official Community Plans over time. This exercise will include the development of a model Wildfire Hazard DPA in order to help mitigate the risk of wildfires through best practice, and in accordance with authority available under the BC Local Government Act. 

The RDOS will engage with each Electoral Area and their communities over time, as Wildfire Hazard DPAs are developed and considered for each Official Community Plan in the region.  

The kinds of potential guidelines and policies to be considered during this project include:

•    Minimum setbacks from forested edge and top of slope based on FireSmart principles.

•    Fuel management activities based upon qualified professional recommendations.

•    Landscaping to FireSmart guidelines.

•    Building materials and design.

•    Underground servicing requirements.

•    Removal of combustible construction materials or thinning/fuel or clearing management debris.

•    Local government administrative processes.

Related Documents:

Wildland Urban Interface Risk Class Maps developed by the Province (covers all the RDOS). 

RDOS Community Wildfire Protection Plan covers all the RDOS, is currently being updated under CRI funding as a separate project and will be made available to the consultant team.

Electoral Area “A” Official Community Plan (2008) is currently undergoing a review process, and draft 2020 OCP as materials will become available as the project progresses. 

Building Climate Resilience in the Okanagan (A Homeowner’s Resource Guide), RDOS & Real Estate Foundation of BC.

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Cory Labrecque
Planner II