Image Source: Canadian Wildland Fire Information System – Fire Danger Map – July 11, 2012
The fire danger rating is heating up across Canada.
The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reported today that Most Agencies have Low to Moderate wildland fire hazard and load with a moderate potential for increased load. Wildland fire activity is occurring and a potential exists for escapes to larger (project) fires.
The drying trend is continuing across British Columbia where the skies are hazy with fires from eastern Russia.
Air quality advisories have been issued recently in Quesnel, Williams Lake, Prince George, Kamloops, Merritt, Smithers, Burns Lake and Houston.
Starting on July 13, there will be an open fire ban in northwestern B.C.
Alberta is reporting multiple fires in northern Alberta due to the extreme fire hazard. Conditions are hot and dry.
The hamlet of Zama City in northwestern Alberta has been evacuated due to a nearby fire that has burned an estimated 1,000 square kilometres.
Fires have closed Highway 35 to the Northwest Territories several times since last Friday.
There are 35 fires burning in Saskatchewan today.
There are 32 fires currently burning in Manitoba. All areas of the province are experiencing high temperatures. Lightning has caused many fires, especially in the northeast and eastern parts of the province.
Hot dry weather continues in Ontario where open fire bans are not only found in the traditional forested northern areas of the province, but also in southwestern Ontario in farm country where all vegetation is said to be extremely dry.
Today the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources said their chief area of concern for new fires stretches from Sault Ste. Marie through Sudbury and then southeast through Algonquin Park. Good fuel availability coupled with low humidity makes this area particularly fire prone. In the Northwest Region, the Geraldton, Kenora and Red Lake districts also have elevated fire hazards.
Ontario firefighting resources have been strategically located around the province to deal with anticipated fire activity. Quickstrike waterbombing agreements have been set-up with Quebec and Manitoba in recent weeks to address fires occurring near provincial borders.
The fire danger in Quebec currently ranges from high in most areas, to extreme in several areas, including Montreal, Laval, and Temiscamingue.
Many fires have been started recently due to improperly extinguished campfires. The SOPFEU is urging people to prepare campfires away from vegetation, and to make sure the fire is completely out when they are done.
The entire province of New Brunswick is under an open fire ban.
The forest fire hazard in Nova Scotia ranges from high to extreme across the province today.
The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has 3 helicopters on standby at their headquarters in Shubenacadie, and 2 more helicopters stationed elsewhere in the province.
There is a concern that the amount of dead wood in the forests in the province, from hurricanes and other powerful storms in recent years, could increase the risk of fire.
There is an extreme fire danger rating for the Watson Lake District, while all other districts in the territory have a low rating.
79 fires are being monitored today.
Many areas of Northwest Territories are dry with windy conditions prompting officials to remind people to be careful with their campfires and to makes sure all campfires are out before leaving.
Across Canada, there have been 3636 reported fires so far this year, burning 688,198.76 hectares. By this date last year, there had been 2,317 fires that had burned 1,842,211 hectares.
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