A program employing more than 60 firefighters trained to rappel into areas where new wildfires have begun is being scrapped by the UCP government as it looks to “modernize” the province’s wildfire response strategy.

Former firefighters of the unit are criticizing the move, saying it will make it more difficult for crews to efficiently tackle new wildfires across the province.

The government informed members of the Wildland Firefighter Rappel Program’s top brass on Monday morning that it was slashing the program, citing “recent budget cuts,” Postmedia has learned.

The UCP is also cutting staffing for close to 30 wildfire lookout towers and one air tanker unit.

Read more on this story at the Calgary Herald

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