National Wildland Fire Situation Report

National Wildland Fire Situation Report

Archived reports

Current as of: November 10, 2022

Current active fires
Uncontrolled Being Held Controlled Modified Response
0 0 0
(to date)
10-yr avg
(to date)
% normal Prescribed U.S.
Number 5,449 5,900 0 0 0
1,610,216 2,785,532 0 0 0

Priority fires

Weekly national situation reports will resume Spring 2023. The blank numbers above are currently unavailable this time of year.

Interagency mobilization

Fire activity in the spring was generally low across Canada, with the National Preparedness Level (NPL) remaining at Level 1-2 through most of May, June, and July with a brief increase to Level 3 between late July 22 to the first week of August, indicating there was some competition domestically for resources.

Over the fire season, response resources (crews, equipment and aircraft) were mobilized to Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Yukon, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Parks Canada. Response resources were provided from across Canada during the spring, summer, and early fall as they had the resources available to do so.

In early May, Nova Scotia’s Agency Preparedness Level (APL) increased to level 3, as they required airtanker assistance for the Yarmouth County Fire. In June, Yukon saw increased fire activity as their APL steadily began to increase throughout the month and into July, eventually reaching the highest level of 5. Evacuation alerts were issued across the territory for multiple communities including Stewart Crossing and Silver Trail surrounding areas. During the same period Alberta, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories saw increased activity requiring some evacuations and additional resources were mobilized.

July also brought increased fire activity in the east. This was the first time Newfoundland made a request for resources through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC). Newfoundland and Labrador are typically a net provider of resources to other jurisdictions.

Around the first week of August there were no longer outstanding requests for firefighting personnel or equipment. The National Preparedness Level gradually went down from level three to level one.

September and October saw continued significant fire activity in British Columbia, Northwest Territories, northeastern Alberta, and Jasper and Banff National Parks in Alberta. There was also significant storm activity in the Atlantic provinces which required mobilization of resources including Incident Management Teams from other jurisdictions.

There were enough resources available domestically, and no international assistance was required this year. Canada sent some resources to Washington State, Idaho, Alaska, and New York State throughout the summer months through the Northwest and Northeast Compact mutual aid agreements.

Weekly Synopsis

This year’s fire season began early with dry spring conditions and high fire danger ratings in the prairies. Communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba saw spring evacuation alerts and orders all through March to May. Although there were evacuation events in Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, Yukon, and Newfoundland this year, the overall evacuation rate for the year was below its 20-year average. Final numbers are not yet available.

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre National Fire Summary, 5,449 fires have been recorded nationally in 2022, burning a total of 1,610,216 hectares (ha). For comparative purposes, this is well below both total number of fires and area burned last year (6,709 fires; 4,078,897 ha), and the 10-year average (5,900 fires; 2,785,532 ha) as reported in the Canadian National Fire Database.

British Columbia saw the most wildfires so far this year (1,760), while the Northwest Territories saw the largest total area burned (615,010 ha from 207 fires). Yukon experienced a historic number of fires and area burned (276 fires; 175,286 ha) surpassing the 10-year average. Area burned was also above average in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia, but lower than average across the prairies to Quebec.

2022 In-Review

A lingering but weakened La Nina, which allows dry and sometimes windy Arctic air to dominate western Canada in the spring, prolonged snow cover across much of Canada, resulting in a slower start to fire activity than in 2021. Snow cover remained light in the eastern Northwest Territories and parts of the southern Prairies, where drought remained although with the epicentre now in southern Alberta. Drought conditions improved over 2021 in Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan but became more widespread again by late summer.

In these dry Arctic air masses, weak weather systems generated light thundershowers in the Northwest Territories and northern parts of the western provinces, gradually raising fire numbers, while moister conditions prevailed in British Columbia, the southern Prairies, and Ontario. Dry spring conditions in Nova Scotia resulted in the first fire exceeding 3000 ha, starting May 10.

Stalled weather systems in early June kept the west showery, while dry air remained over the Territories, northern Prairies, and eastern Canada. This contributed to large fires in the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and northern Quebec, where record high temperatures contributed to tundra fires in regions where historical fire appears scarce. Gradual warming and drying occurred in the west near the end of June, but not with the intensity of the 2021 heat dome.

During late June and early July, the number of fires in Yukon increased rapidly, a result of warm weather and scattered thundershowers. Warm, dry conditions and active fire continued in the Northwest Territories and south of the 60th parallel in the western provinces. Late July readings of near 40C occurred in some British Columbia locations. The recent switch to summer helped direct rain northeastwards into the Territories, although active fire remained in southeast Yukon. Lightning triggered large fires in Newfoundland in late July.

During July and August, a stagnant ridge in the western USA occasionally reached into western Canada, providing periods of hot and dry weather. Many locations, including some in the Arctic islands, recorded record high temperatures. Some record highs were also broken in Atlantic Canada. This allowed existing fires in the Northwest Territories to show renewed activity, with occasional thundershowers resulting in numerous fires in British Columbia and Alberta. As the west dried in early August, moisture returned to eastern Canada and the Newfoundland fires received rain. The hot, dry, and at times windy weather continued into early September, prolonging fire activity between British Columbia and Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories. This general pattern continued through most of October in British Columbia, Alberta, and the southern Northwest Territories, with cooler and moister weather reducing activity in the eastern Prairies. This change brought warm weather into the eastern half of the country, facilitating some unusual late-season fires.

A rapid turn to winter in western Canada in early November helped reduce fire activity. With ongoing drought in many regions, the question arises if western Canada will get enough fall and winter moisture to prevent early spring fire activity in 2023.


We will not be providing a weather prognosis this week. Weekly national situation reports will resume Spring 2023.

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