|Uncontrolled||Being Held||Controlled||Modified Response|
- Data courtesy of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC).
- Check the Air Quality Health Index for air quality in your area.
- AB – 4 fires
- NT – 2 fires (20,260 ha)
- SK – 5 fires (39,887 ha)
- ON – 4 fires (4,211 ha)
The National Preparedness Level increased to level 4. Competition for national resources is an issue and international resources are being sought. The Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are at an agency preparedness level of 5 (of 5), Yukon, Alberta, and Parks Canada are at level 4, Ontario is at level 3, while all other provinces and territories are at level 1 or 2. Agencies are sharing 8 aircraft, 210 personnel, 250 power pumps, and 259 km of hose along with a variety of other equipment. Lightning activity accounted for 80% of this week’s fires. The United States is at preparedness level 3, with large fires burning in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
This week there have been 937 new fires with 646,208 ha of area burned. Nationally, fire activity has increased dramatically and is now well above average for this time of year. The majority of this week’s fires have occurred in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan (15%, 30%, and 14% respectively), while the majority of the area burned was in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Parks Canada (18%, 27%, and 30% respectively). Seasonal fire occurrence and area burned are both above the 10-year average.
Fire danger increased to very high throughout western and northern Canada, while central and eastern Canada remained at moderate or low fire danger. Fire danger in the Yukon is low with extreme indices between Whitehorse, Carmacks and Ross River. Fire danger in British Columbia is very high with patches of extreme in the south. Fire danger in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories is very high to extreme. Fire danger in Saskatchewan is high with extreme indices in the southern portion of the province. Manitoba is at low to moderate fire danger. Ontario is at moderate fire danger with elevated indices in western regions. Fire danger from Quebec to Atlantic Canada is low to moderate.
In British Columbia, open fires are restricted in all fire zones, with additional restrictions on campfires in the Coastal, Northwest, Kamloops and Southeast fire zones. In Yukon, burning permits have been suspended in the districts of Carmacks, Haines Junction, and Whitehorse. In the Northwest Territories, smoke and fire fighting operations are causing disruptions to travel along highways 1, 2, 3, and 6. In Alberta, fire bans are in place for the counties or municipal districts of Chestermere, Paintearth No 18, Cypress, Acadia No 34, and Special Areas 2, 3, and 4, with further restrictions and advisories in place throughout the province. In Saskatchewan, open fires and fireworks are banned in all provincial forests including provincial parks and recreation sites within these areas. In Manitoba, open fires, campfires and fireworks are restricted in Area’s 11, 12, and 13 of the Northwest/Northeast region. In Nova Scotia, burning is restricted to between the hours of 19:00 and 08:00 in all counties.
The upper ridge that brought hot and dry weather into western Canada has flattened as a series of weak upper lows cross. These are pushing humidity into western Canada and generating showers and thundershowers, mainly in central and southern regions of the provinces. A stronger system moves eastwards along the 60th parallel on Thursday and reaches Manitoba on the weekend (July 4-5). This generates wind and thundershowers along a leading cold front and likely more fire starts, although the system appears to stall near Hudson Bay, pick up Gulf of Mexico moisture via the American Midwest, and swirl it around western Canada. This system stalls as a queue of lows mingle about in eastern regions, trying to find a way past a high pressure area hanging down from Greenland. This scenario suggests most of the country will receive some rain over the next week, although southern British Columbia will remain dry, and Ontario may see bands of thundershowers as opposed to areas of rain. Ridging rebuilds over Alaska early in the week of July 6 and extends into Yukon Territory, bringing a return to dry conditions.
Nationally, fire danger in western and northern Canada is expected to remain very high this week, while Manitoba to Atlantic Canada is expected to remain at moderate to low fire danger. The area to watch this week is the Northwest Territories where the extreme conditions are expected to persist. With fire suppression resources becoming increasingly limited, national resources may not be sufficient for anticipated wildland fire activity.