Alberta invests in new technology to fight wildfires

Budget 2024 is investing more money to help combat wildfires.

With many regions of Alberta at heightened risk for forest fires, the government is spending an additional $151 million over the next three years for more firefighters and new technology to help beat back any blazes.

In addition to more fire crews, there are extra aircraft being brought in to help. The province is also investing in new technology including drones, Artificial Intelligence, and enhanced night vision gear.

“Alberta’s government is well prepared for the 2024 wildfire season,” assured Minister of Forestry and Parks, Todd Loewen.

“We have emerging technologies that will enable us to better protect forests and communities while continuing to prioritize proactive measures that build wildfire resilience throughout the province.”

Alberta Wildfire says aerial operations are integral to firefighting efforts and increased funding will enable them to add two additional long-term helicopter contracts, two new air tanker contracts, and additional drones for aerial wildfire surveillance. Budget 2024 will also support the renewal of 130 helicopter contracts by April 1.

“We live in a time where we have access to incredible technologies,” said Bernie Schmitte, Executive Director of Alberta Wildfire.

“I can say with confidence that the additional night-vision equipped helicopters and drones will make a big difference in our wildfire mitigation and response efforts this year.”

The 2024 wildfire season began on February 20th due to unusually dry conditions in much of the province.

More from 100.5 Cruz FM