Feds spending $77M to help rebuild Lytton, B.C., with fire-resistant buildings

The federal government on Tuesday announced it will be spending $77 million to help rebuild Lytton, B.C., in a way that could better withstand future fires, almost a year to the day after the village was destroyed by flames.

Majority of funding set aside for public buildings; $13M to help businesses, homeowners

The federal government on Tuesday announced it will be spending just over $77 million to help rebuild Lytton, B.C., in a way that could better withstand future fires, almost a year to the day after the village was destroyed by flames.

More than three quarters of the new funding — $64 million — will go toward new, fire-resistant public buildings like community centres and libraries. The remaining $13.2 million is set aside for small- and medium-sized businesses and insured property owners to rebuild homes that are fire resistant.

"These investments will position Lytton as a leader, showing that sustainable, resilient, net-zero building is not the way of the future, it is the way of today," International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan wrote in a statement.

The announcement comes ahead of the anniversary of the disaster on June 30, 2021. The entire village, around 150 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, was destroyed by a wildfire after enduring four days of record-breaking heat. Two people were killed.

Hundreds of homes were reduced to charred rubble. Rebuilding is likely to begin in September, according to the province.

Through the new Lytton Homeowner Resilient Rebuild program, announced with the funding Tuesday, the government will give $6 million in grants to homeowners "who have basic rebuild insurance who want to rebuild net-zero or fire-resistant homes."

"As last year's fire showed, fires spread from one building to another. Having the majority of residences fire resistant benefits everyone in the community and net-zero is good for all of us," said Sajjan.

On Friday, Ottawa also announced an advance payment of $207 million to B.C. as it finalizes applications for the federal disaster assistance fund for communities affected by the wildfire season. The full request is more than twice that.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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