Lower Nicola Fire Protection
The TNRD has partnered with the City of Merritt to allow Merritt Fire Rescue to provide fire protection services to part of the Lower Nicola area, effective July 4, 2022. Under the interim agreement, Merritt Fire Rescue will provide structural fire protection services 482 addresses in Lower Nicola and Miller Estates.
The interim agreement was renewed in early 2023, and it is in place until at least December 31, 2023. The TNRD will continue discussion with the City of Merritt regarding fire protection in the Lower Nicola area for future years. The TNRD also continues to assess long-term options for fire protection services in the Lower Nicola area, including those properties that are not covered under this interim agreement.
Property owners in Sunshine Valley, Canford and nearby areas that were impacted by the announcement of fire protection services being suspended and are not covered by this interim agreement have been issued a partial tax refund by the TNRD for the 2022 budget year.
Frequently Asked Questions
As of July 4, 2022, the TNRD has partnered with the City of Merritt to enable Merritt Fire Rescue to provide fire protection services to 482 addresses in Lower Nicola and Miller Estates. This interim agreement was renewed in early 2023 and will be in place until at least December 31, 2023.
The TNRD continues to assess long-term options for fire protection services in the Lower Nicola area, including for TNRD properties that are not covered under this interim agreement. The TNRD will continue discussion with the City of Merritt and the Lower Nicola Indian Band regarding fire protection in the Lower Nicola area for future years.
Due to distance from their fire hall, this is the maximum coverage area that Merritt Fire Rescue is able to provide at this time.
- Contact your home insurance provider immediately to report this change
- Notify any tenants of your property about this change.
If you have an emergency, please continue to call 9-1-1. BC Ambulance and RCMP will continue to respond to emergencies in your area. BC Wildfire Service will also continue to respond to wildfires in this area.
BC Wildfire Service will continue to respond to wildfires in this area. To report a wildfire, call 1-800-663-5555 (or *5555 from a cell phone).
Yes. Properties in Sunshine Valley, Canford and nearby areas were issued a partial tax refund for the 2022 budget year.
We cannot guarantee reductions in insurance rates, as insurance companies act independently and consider various factors when setting rates. However, generally speaking, homeowners see significant costs savings in insurance premiums if they have fire protection.
We can also confirm that most insurers in Canada use the rating system from the Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) to set insurance premiums. For a property to be considered protected, the FUS requires that it be within a maximum of 8 kilometres (by road) of a recognized fire hall.
We strongly encourage you to contact your insurance broker with specific questions regarding potential cost implications for your specific property.
Taxation collected for a specified fire protection service area cannot, and will not, be used for any other purposes. Any unspent tax collected for a service is either used to offset taxes in the following year, or put into a reserve fund devoted to the specific service. In the instance of property owners in Canford, Sunshine Valley and other nearby properties who have paid taxes for the entire year, a refund will be issued for additional costs of fire protection service that were paid.
Local governments are not required to provide fire protection service. The majority of rural areas of B.C. do not have fire protection.
June of 2022. The contract for the LNIB to provide fire protection services ended in December of 2021; however, this agreement continued until the service was suspended, and residents of the Lower Nicola area continued to receive fire protection services from the LNIB.
The TNRD was forced to suspend fire protection services (exterior operations – structural) in the Lower Nicola area due to a current lack of capacity by the LNIB Department to respond to fire calls outside of its own community. The TNRD informed affected property owners immediately about this change, by announcing the suspension of service on June 23, 2022.
One long-term option for fire protection services would be to create a TNRD-administered fire department in Lower Nicola, which would be able to provide structural fire protection to the Lower Nicola area.
Establishing a fire new fire protection service and building a fire hall would take multiple years to complete, and would involve a public assent process, such as a referendum, for impacted properties.
Earlier this year, through referendum, eligible voters in the Monte Creek area voted in favour of establishing fire protection service and constructing a fire hall. (Find background information on that process by clicking here).
Map of Service Area
The map below shows TNRD properties that are provided fire protection services by Merritt Fire Rescue, effective July 4, 2022. The map also highlights other TNRD properties where fire protection services were suspended as of June 23, 2022.