AUMA is pleased to announce that in response to our advocacy the Government of Alberta has signed longer contracts with air tanker companies for the 2017 wildfire season.
Air tankers play an important role in fighting wildfires as they drop water and other retardants to slow the fires. As the threat of wildfires is highest in the summer four-month time period, municipalities were concerned by the province’s 2016 decision to reduce the air tanker contract to three months. This means that there is no guarantee that the air tanker services will be immediately available in the case of a fire emergency. As well, even if they are available, they will be billed at higher rates than those within the contract period.
“In response to our advocacy, the province is increasing the 2017 budget for wildfire management which will include a longer contract period for air tanker services,” said AUMA President Lisa Holmes. As well, there will be increased funding for the Fire Smart program.
“AUMA is proud to have contributed its efforts to protect Albertans and communities from the threat of wildfires in 2017” said Holmes.