A few more details need to be worked out before crop dusters in Saskatchewan will be able to help fight wildfires in remote areas.
The Saskatchewan government has spearheaded the development on a program to train 26 crop sprayers on fighting prairie fires.
Yorkton aerial applicator Michael Yaholinitsky says there are a few issues to be resolved.
“There would needed to be a process,” he said. “A 911 call gets made, so there’s a fire it’s out of control. The farmer can’t handle it. So then it’s up to the fire department or emergency measure or the provincial fire office.”
Yaholinitsky did acknowledge there is more than plenty benefit to this, as aerial applicators play an essential role battling fires.
“Vehicles may not be able to access certain areas, farmers may not be able to get out with cultivators,” he said. “And yet, you have a high fuel load above a very wet ground.”
“Aircraft could be very effective in using retardant, containing a fire, protecting a yard or built up areas.”