Canadian Wildland Fire Information System

National Wildland Fire Situation Report

Archived reports

Current as of: May 17, 2017

Current active fires
Uncontrolled Controlled Modified Response
1 10 0
2017
(to date)
10-yr avg
(to date)
% normal Prescribed U.S.
Number 577 1,320 43.7 37 22,401
Area
(ha)
2,013 89,152 2 3,063 730,185

Fires of note

None

Interagency mobilization

The National Preparedness Level is 1, as are all provinces and territories and Parks Canada. No agencies have sent or requested fire suppression resources during this period.

Weekly Synopsis

Canada has recorded 577 fires so far this year, which have burned 2013 ha. This week, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario accounted for the majority of the 93 fires (39%, 16%, and 15% respectively), while Saskatchewan and Manitoba had the majority of the 167 ha burned (57% and 20% respectively). Seasonal fire occurrence and area burned are both significantly below the 10-year average (44% and 2% respectively).

Patchy areas of high to extreme fire danger persist along the 60th parallel, and in southern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and western and southern Ontario. These areas are ringed by narrow bands of moderate fire danger, while all other regions are low.

An upper low pressure center in the USA Pacific Northwest is generating showers through British Columbia and rain or snow in the southern Rocky Mountains of Alberta. This pattern is aided by an Arctic surface high pressure area, which is providing cool but dry conditions in the southern Northwest Territories, the northern two-thirds of the Prairie Provinces, and western Ontario. A ridge is ushering warm air into southern Ontario and Quebec, while a series of weak low pressure areas are driving a line of showers or thundershowers eastwards across the Great Lakes and along the St Lawrence Valley.

In British Columbia, open fires are restricted in the Cariboo fire zone. Beginning May 19, Category 2 and 3 fires (2 or more simultaneous open fires, grass or stubble fires, burning barrels, fireworks, and binary exploding targets) will be restricted in the Kamloops Fire Zones. These restrictions will apply to elevations below 1200m in the Kamloops North and Vernon Fire Zones, and all elevations elsewhere. In Alberta, fire advisories are in effect north of Lake Athabasca; Thorhild, Two Hills, Minburn, Beaver, and Leduc Counties; and the M.D of Pincher Creek and Piikani First Nation. Fire Restrictions are in place in Lamont County. In Yukon, burning permits for barrels and open fires other than campfires are restricted in the Haines Junction, Burwash, Mayo, Whitehorse, Braeburn, Carmacks, Faro, and Ross River areas. In Manitoba, open fires are prohibited from April 1 to November 15, except under a burning permit or in enclosed, approved fire pits. Activities in wooded areas involving fireworks or sky lanterns may also require written authorization during this period in certain areas. In Ontario, full fire bans are in effect in Whitesand and Windigo Bay Provincial Parks. In New Brunswick, burning is restricted to the 8pm to 8am period in Madawaska, Victoria, Carleton, Restigouche Counties, and is permitted at all hours elsewhere. In Nova Scotia, burning is restricted to the 7pm to 8am period in Annapolis, Digby, Halifax, Hants, Kings, Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne, and Yarmouth Counties, and permitted at all hours elsewhere.

Prognosis

Cool showery weather in the west is replaced by warm, dry air as an upper low moves into the central USA and a zonal Pacific flow follows across western Canada. An Arctic high pressure area moves southeast across the Prairies, maintaining dry conditions. By Sunday (May 21), high pressure builds over British Columbia, warming British Columbia and Alberta, southern Yukon, and the southern Northwest Territories. Slight instability will generate spotty showers or thundershowers, which could trigger an occasional lightning-caused fire where forest floor moisture is lacking – mainly along the 60th parallel, eastern Manitoba, and western Ontario. As the ridge builds, it drives cooler air around the upper low, which moves from the USA Midwest across the Great Lakes on the weekend and into the James Bay region by Tuesday (May 23). The influx of cooler air and a draw of Atlantic moisture help increase rainfall from the Great Lakes east. People west of the Great Lakes should be cautious during Victoria Day weekend outdoor activities as fire danger indexes will slowly increase, raising the chance of wildfire.

Current graphs

Note: For provinces, PC = Parks Canada

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