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Training Pilots for Forest Fire Season

Archived News Release

Training Pilots for Forest Fire Season

Ontario Opens Innovative Flight Training Centre

Ontario is opening an innovative flight training centre for water bomber pilots in Sault Ste. Marie.

The 622-square-metre facility is the first of its kind in Ontario. It is equipped with one of the most advanced flight training devices available, which simulates the sights, sounds and motions of the CL-415 water bomber aircraft used to fight forest fires in Ontario.

By eliminating the need to send pilots out of the province for training, the centre will provide a long-term, cost-effective solution for managing forest fires. It will also attract pilots from other areas to train and practise, helping to support the local economy.

Investing in public safety and forest firefighting infrastructure is part of the Ontario government's plan to support local economies and keep families and communities safe.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario managed over 1,619 forest fires in 2012.
  • The government has been operating nine CL-415 water bombers since 1998.
  • The construction of the facility created 14 construction jobs in Sault Ste. Marie.
  • The forest firefighting program has $25 million of fire suppression equipment, 14 water bombers, 13 helicopters and 12 fire detection aircraft.

Additional Resources


“This new flight simulator and training centre in Sault Ste. Marie is the first of its kind in the province. It will help to strengthen our firefighting program by ensuring that our highly skilled water bomber pilots and air engineers have the support they need to play a key role in keeping Ontarians safe from the threat of forest fires.”

David Orazietti

Minister of Natural Resources

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