New water bomber to help SPSA help fight wildfires

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) is investing in a new water-scooping air tanker just in time for wildfire season in the province.

The new CL-215T replaces the obsolete CL-215 in the SPSA’s aerial wildfire suppression fleet and will join a fleet of air tankers and bird-dog planes as part of its wildfire and grassfire fire response program.

Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell, said the new tanker is part of a nearly $40 million investment in the province’s responders.

“Our government’s strategic investment into our air operations protects the people, property and resources of Saskatchewan,” she said. “The investment of $37.3 million will allow our responders to better protect lives, communities, major infrastructure and other values.”

SPSA President and Fire Commissioner Marlo Pritchard said aircraft, like the new CL-215T, play an essential role in Saskatchewan’s wildfire management program.

“With the 2023 wildfire season just beginning, an expansion of the fleet means that wildfire responders and resources will be strengthened when protecting our province, especially in the north.”

The CL-215T can reach speeds of approximately 329 KPH and collect 1,200 gallons of water for an open water source in about 10 seconds.

The new aircraft was purchased and refurbished by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada.

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