Nelson Regional District of Central Kootenay rep.
The toughest part of implementing a wildfire mitigation service for the rural parts of the regional district — including the lands around Nelson — will be dealing with the private landowners, says the city’s Regional District of Central Kootenay board representative. Mayor Deb Kozak said the regional district is looking to create a service establishment bylaw for a wildfire mitigation service — expected to be adopted in November — but they currently don’t have the ability to coerce private landowners to engage in wildfire mitigation. Most communities have already done what they can to protect against fires within their municipal borders, but are powerless to act on the other side of their borders, she noted. “The difficult thing for us is much of the land is privately owned around here,” said Kozak, “so there is no onus on private land owners to do any of that (wildfire mitigation) work.”