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First of its kind: new firefighting aircraft in Montana

Bridger Aerospace in Belgrade gave NBC Montana an inside look at a new plane that will help fight forest fires this season.

The aircraft is a CL415EAF built in Canada. It came out of production in April.

Bridger Aerospace contracts the plane out to various agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service.

One plane can cost up to $30 million, but its hefty price tag comes with some unique features, including its water capabilities.

“It’s an amphibian, which means we can land and scoop up water off of water bodies and go directly to the fire, whereas all the other aircrafts have to return to the airport to be reloaded,” said Capt. Al Hymers, a lead scooper pilot for Bridger Aerospace. “We can just go to the nearest lake or water source closest to the fire and work.”

Read more on this story at NBC Montana

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