RDOS welcomes new FireSmart Coordinator

News Article

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) welcomes Kerry Riess as the new Regional District FireSmart Coordinator. This role is responsible for the development and implementation of FireSmart activities for all nine Electoral Areas within the Regional District.

Kerry brings 12 years of experience with BC Wildfire Service as an Initial Attack Crew leader, Unit Crew leader, and Forest Protection assistant. Kerry’s past experience in emergency operations, project management, wildland firefighting, and community and stakeholder engagement will directly support the execution of the RDOS FireSmart program.

With continued wildfire risks and recent events such as the 2020 Christie Mountain wildfire and 2019 Gallagher Lake wildfire, provincial funding for a full-time FireSmart Coordinator will provide property owners with resource information and opportunities to mitigate potential wildfire hazards within their community.

The RDOS received a $600,000 grant from the FireSmart Community Funding & Supports program and $120,000 through the FireSmart Economic Recovery Fund. Both grants are administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) as part of the Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) program. CRI is an initiative funded by UBCM to reduce the risks and impacts of wildfires through community education, vegetation management, legislation and planning, development a considerations, interagency cooperation, cross-training and emergency planning.

Kerry will support the RDOS with the planning and coordination of community chipping events, FireSmart community events, neighbourhood FireSmart assessments, rebate programs, fuel treatments and other initiatives to promote FireSmart within the Regional District.

For further information about becoming a FireSmart community, or to learn more about participating in a new or existing FireSmart Community Board, please visit the RDOS Community FireSmart webpage at firesmart.rdos.bc.ca.


Karla Kozakevich, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

RDOS Emergency Services Manager
Erick Thompson Andrea Rendall RDOS Toll Free
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