The Government of Saskatchewan is investing into their wildfire response fleet. A release on Tuesday shared that by 2027, four re-purposed planes will be replacing the currently utilized group of four Convair 580 airplanes.

Premier Scott Moe made the announcement alongside Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Paul Merriman. The four "land-based airtanker aircrafts" purchased by Saskatchewan include two Dash 8-Q400AT models, and two Dash 8-Q400MRE models, coming in at a cost of $187.06 million.

"Saskatchewan relies on land-based airtanker aircraft as part of its approach to managing wildfires," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Paul Merriman said. "These aircraft are used in instances where waterbombers may not be able to access lakes to fill up their tanks." 

The new planes should begin to arrive by 2025, the final one arriving by late 2027. According to the release these new planes will increase capacity, efficiency, all while making up to 30 per cent less emissions than a similar sized airtanker. 

"Saskatchewan leads the country in preparing for future disasters with their order for four modern emergency response aircraft," Conair Aerial Firefighting President and CEO Matt Bradley said. "They are the first province to invest in the safety and security of their citizens with a purchase of the multi role airtankers, built by Canadians for Canadians. Saskatchewan is supporting Canadian workers who build these aircraft, enhancing their fleet with aircraft designed to offer first in, last out capability, providing essential services from response through recovery, connecting all regions of the province in times of crisis." 

Further financial details show that the SPSA's 2024-25 capital budget is providing a $5.52 million deposit, joined by three more years of payments. Federal dollars are helping offset the costs as well, with $16.29 million being committed through Natural Resources Canada's Fighting and Managing Wildfires in a Changing Climate Program (FMWCC).

"These planes will replace the SPSA's aging land-based airtanker fleet with a modern, supportable aircraft with an anticipated useful life of 25 years,"

Minister Merriman said that it was important to replace the SPSA's aging fleet, as the new aircraft should operate across the next 25 or so years providing more than adequate responses to wildfires, and other types of emergencies.