Canadian Wildland Fire Information System

National Wildland Fire Situation Report

Archived reports

Current as of: July 12, 2017

Current active fires
Uncontrolled Controlled Modified Response
144 86 135
2017
(to date)
10-yr avg
(to date)
% normal Prescribed U.S.
Number 2,275 3,541 64 46 33,430
Area
(ha)
423,724 1,375,104 30 4,729 1,521,654

Fires of note

  • BC: 18 fires (38712 ha.). Many active fires threatening infrastructure and private property. Several evacuation orders issued.
  • ON: 1 fire (3130 ha.). Limited response so far. Plan being built.
  • Interagency mobilization

    The National Preparedness Level is 4, with British Columbia at level 4 and Yukon, Alberta, and Parks Canada at level 3. Numerous fires in British Columbia and Yukon at the end of last week have quickly spread due to dry conditions. Many agencies are mobilizing resources to British Columbia. The US is at a level 4 preparedness level due to several large fires throughout the west.

    Weekly Synopsis

    Canada has recorded 2,275 fires so far this year, which have burned 423,725 ha. Most of the 473 fires that burned over the last week occurred in western Canada, with British Columbia (63%) being the most active, while most of the 227,905 hectares burned over the last week was split between Yukon (34%), Northwest Territories (33%), and British Columbia (30%). Lightning accounted for about 31% of the new fires. Seasonal fire occurrence and area burned are both significantly below the 10-year average (64% and 31% respectively).

    The Pacific storm that has remained off the BC coast recently maintains its position. A low that broke off into central Yukon now sits between Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake. Winds have eased in the northern parts of Yukon and the Northwest Territories but the areas stay dry, and a band of showers lies to the south through central Nunavut and Northwest Territories. Showers or thundershowers will occur in parts of Alberta and northern Saskatchewan, and temperatures begin to rebound as a large ridge regains a foothold in the western USA. This maintains dry conditions across the southern third of British Columbia, and once again, a few thundershowers and resulting lightning-caused fires may pop up in the transition area between dry and wet conditions in central regions.

    A high pressure area moving southeast from Hudson Bay maintains clear conditions across most of Manitoba and northern Ontario, while an elongated low pressure area leaves the southern Prairies and moves across the Great Lakes. This forces a band of showers and thundershowers to remain along the Great Lakes and St Lawrence valley. Another low over northern Quebec gradually spins off into the Atlantic, although showers lingering on the west side of this provide moisture over Labrador today.

    Fire danger remains moderate to extreme in an arc from the southern half of British Columbia, through the northern Prairie Provinces and eastern Northwest Territories/southwest Nunavut, and through northern Ontario. A branch of moderate to extreme fire danger runs through the central Northwest Territories to northern Yukon, and a strip of high to extreme fire danger remains over New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

    In British Columbia, all fire centres have bans in place on open burning as well as campfires. Refer to the BC Wildfire Service website for more information on fire bans and restrictions.

    In Alberta, a fire ban is in effect in the MD of Taber as well as the counties of Lethbridge and Warner. In these areas, the restriction only allows campfires in designated structures. Fire restrictions are in effect in Birch Hills County, Calgary Forest Area, Coalhurst, the County of Cardston, the County of Forty Mile No. 8, the MD of Willow Creek, the MD of FootHills, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, Canmore, and Vulcan County. Consult the Alberta fire bans web page (https://www.albertafirebans.ca) for the nature of these restrictions. Fire advisories are in effect for County of Minburn, Beaver County, Airdrie, the County of Newell, Cypress County, Leduc County, Parkland County, Pincher Creek, Rocky View County, Cochrane, Westlock County, and Special Areas.

    In Yukon, no campfire bans are in place, and burning permits are suspended in Old Crow.

    In Northwest Territories, fire bans are in place at Fred Henne and Yellowknife River Territorial Parks until further notice.

    Saskatchewan currently has no fire bans.

    In Manitoba, open fires are prohibited from April 1 to November 15, except under burning permits 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.

    Ontario, full fire bans are in effect in Whitesand and Windigo Bay Provincial Parks.

    Quebec currently has no fire bans.

    In New Brunswick, burning is restricted to the hours of 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the counties of Kent, Sunbury, Charlotte, Queens, Westmorland, Kings, Saint John, and Albert.

    In Nova Scotia, burning is restricted to the hours of 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. in all regions.

    In Prince Edward Island, burning permits are required for all outdoor burning throughout the fire season.

    No fire bans appear to have been reported in Newfoundland.

    Prognosis

    The Pacific storm seems content to sit off the British Columbia coast for the next few days, helping build a sharp ridge of high pressure over western Canada. This brings hot weather into the west, although regular rainfall continues across northern British Columbia and southern Yukon. A high pressure area moving southeast from Hudson Bay maintains dry conditions over northern Ontario and Quebec. These features will elevate fire danger across most of Canada from southern British Columbia eastward. By Sunday, July 16, the Pacific storm is forecast to move inland through northern parts of the western provinces. This will bring rainfall to the northern parts of the provinces and southern Territories, although lightning along the southern edge of this band may trigger fires. A moderate to strong wind event may accompany this system as a dry cold front crosses the region. A lingering trough may move over southern British Columbia early in the week of July 16, and if this happens, a substantial lightning-caused fire event may occur in the parched southern interior.

    Current graphs

    Note: For provinces, PC = Parks Canada

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