Firefighters are often exposed to toxic gases. (CBC)

Workers compensation coverage is set to improve for Saskatchewan firefighters, who are often exposed to dangerous materials.

Firefighters are at increased risk for cancer, because of their work, and rules under the provincial workers compensation take that into account.

Firefighters can qualify for benefits covering nine different cancers, including some brain cancers as well as lung cancer and leukemia.

Saskatchewan is now adding esophageal cancer to the list.

"It's the exposure to the toxic gasses that accumulate during a fire," Bruce Siemens, head of the Saskatoon firefighters union, said about the risk fire crews face.

"As more cancers come to light in this unfortunate modern world where there is a lot of cancers, we know that the carcinogens that are available, that are present in the smoke and the structure fires, that they are carcinogens and we are exposed to that," he said.

Changes relating to the workers compensation act are expected this spring.