Manitoba invests C$1.6M in upgrades to water bomber fleet as part of climate resiliency strategy; minister says strategic investments in wildfire prevention and suppression help province protect Manitobans, forestry and natural resources

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba , April 29, 2022 (press release) –

Safety Investments for Climate Resiliency Strategy: Fielding

The Manitoba government has invested $1.6 million in the Manitoba Wildfire Services water bomber fleet for safety and modernized upgrades, Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Scott Fielding announced today.

“Investing in our provincial water bomber fleet is essential as it plays an important role in our government’s climate resiliency strategy,” said Fielding. “Strategic investments in the prevention and suppression of wildfires will help ensure the ability to prepare and respond in managing wildfire risks to protect Manitobans, forestry and provincial natural resources.”

The minister noted the investment will support:

  • the installation of new radios in three CL-215 water bombers to ensure compatibility with the province’s new public safety communications network;
  • water door warning systems and corrosion protection on four CL-415 water bombers to ensure safe operation; and
  • the construction of two 12-person bunkhouses at Wekusko Falls initial attack base to support northern wildfire operations.

The current radios are incompatible with the new radio network and the minister noted radios are crucial to ensuring safe and effective use of the water bomber fleet.

The new water door warning systems will add additional safety measures to reduce the risk of performing water scoop operations with a partially open water door, which could lead to a potentially catastrophic event, noted Fielding.

Over the past three years, the Manitoba government has invested $4.1 million in communications, technology and safety upgrades to the provincial water bomber fleet.

The minister noted the upgrades will be implemented by Babcock Canada Inc., which operates and maintains Manitoba’s fleet of seven CL-415 and CL-215 water bombers.

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