Aviators in Saskatchewan are preparing for another wildfire season.

Peter Boniface is the executive director of air operations for the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency.

He says ground training sessions for pilots and other personnel are being held online. This year, 42 pilots are being brought in.

“In addition, there will be another 20 seasonal people made up of tanker base operators, air attack officers, flight watch coordinators, logistic and administration personnel,” he said.

He also says with the 60 seasonal staff, there are also over 30 full-time maintenance people.

The aircraft to be used this year include Convair ground-based tankers and CL-215 amphibious tankers. There are also four Turbo Commander planes and three Beechcraft Baron 55 aircraft, which are used as “bird dog” planes.

People in northern Saskatchewan should start to notice some of the firefighting aircraft in the air around Easter.

(PHOTO: A Convair 580A air tanker. Photo courtesy of David Smith.)