Canadian Wildland Fire Information System

National Wildland Fire Situation Report

Archived reports

Current as of: August 18, 2017

Current active fires
Uncontrolled Controlled Modified Response
138 151 540
2017
(to date)
10-yr avg
(to date)
% normal Prescribed U.S.
Number 4,429 5,357 83 47 42,010
Area
(ha)
2,473,318 2,276,810 109 6,100 2,549,117

Fires of note

  • BC: 6 fires (503,907 ha.). Many active fires threatening infrastructure and private property. Several evacuation orders and alerts in effect. Several priority fires being contained.
  • PC: 3 fires (17274 ha.). Fires affect National and Provincial Parks, with each agency contributing resources .
  • Interagency mobilization

    The National Preparedness Level is 5 with British Columbia at level 5 and Ontario and Parks Canada are at level 4. Alberta and Manitoba are at level 3, and the remaining agencies are level 1 or 2. Fires in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories are accounting for most of the area burned this week. The number of agencies mobilizing resources is at 10 this week. The US has increased to preparedness level 5.

    Weekly Synopsis

    Canada has recorded 4,429 fires so far this year, which have burned 2,473,318 ha. Over the past week, the largest area burned was in the Northwest Territories, who reported over 550,000. British Columbia had over 300,000 ha burned over the past week. Saskatchewan (38244 ha) and Manitoba (30264 ha) had the next most area burned over the past week. Lightning accounted for about 51% of the new fires. While seasonal fire occurrence is approximately 80% of the 10-year average, the area burned increased by nearly 1 million hectares this week and is now above the 10-year average (108%).

    The ridge that stalled over British Columbia at the end of July has gradually moved eastward and compressed with the help of surging Pacific air. It now sits between western Ontario and the western Arctic islands. West of the ridge axis, temperature has cooled to seasonal values, and cloud and humidity have increased. A weak low crossing northern British Columbia will provide some shower and thundershower activity to central and northern British Columbia and Alberta. The leading edge of the Pacific air will generate showers, thundershowers, and likely a few more fires between extreme western Ontario and western Nunavut. This frontal band connects to a stronger system in the central Northwest Territories, where substantial rain will fall north of Great Slave Lake and east of the Mackenzie River. Eastern Ontario and western Quebec stay dry, but with low fire danger after recent rain. The responsible low is moving through Quebec, maintaining showers and low fire danger through eastern Quebec and northern parts of the Atlantic Provinces. Patchy areas in New Brunswick remain dry and prone to fire.

    In British Columbia, open fires and campfires are prohibited across the province. Forest use is restricted in areas near the Big Bend Creek, Tatelkuz Lake, Lucas Lake and Chedakuz Creek wildfires southwest of Vanderhoof, as well as the Cariboo Forest District. Forest use is restricted in the Dunn Lake, Thuya Creek, and Elephant Hill areas. Off-road vehicles for recreational purposes on Crown land will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre, Kamloops Fire Centre and Southeast Fire Centre. In addition, all on-highway vehicles must remain on defined road surfaces.

    In Alberta, fire bans are in effect in Banff, Jasper, and Waterton lakes National Parks; The MDs of Acadia, Foothills, Pincher Creek, Willow Creek No.26 and Taber; the counties of Warner, Wheatland, Cardston, Forty Mile No. 8, Cypress, Kneehill, Rocky View, Lethbridge, and Vulcan; as well as Calgary Forest Area, Cochrane, the town of Jasper, Fort Macleod, Glenwood, Hill Spring, Lethbridge, Magrath, Crowsnest Pass, Ghost Lake, Waiparous, Banff, Black Diamond, County of Newell, Nanton, Okotoks, Turner Valley, Canmore, Cardston, and Trochu. Fire restrictions are in effect in Birch Hills County, Claresholm, Coalhurst, Coaldale, Drumheller, Picture Butte, the County of Newell, and Special Areas. Consult the Alberta fire bans web page (https://www.albertafirebans.ca) for the nature of these restrictions and bans. Fire advisories are in effect for Saddle Hills County, Municipal District of Spirit River, County of Northern Lights, County of Minburn, Beaver County, Airdrie, Calgary, Chestermere, Rocky Mountain House, Clearwater County, Leduc County, Parkland County, County of Paintearth No. 18, , Westlock County, Crossfield, Devon, Peave River Forest Area, High Level Forest Area, Edson forest Area.

    In Yukon, burning permits are suspended in all districts except Beaver Creek, Burwash, Faro, Mayo, Old Crow and Ross River.

    Northwest Territories currently has no fire bans.

    In Saskatchewan, all open fires are prohibited on Crown land south of Highway 7 from the Alberta border east to Rosetown; west of Highway 4 south to the junction of highways 4 and 15; south of Highway 15 west to the junction of highways 15 and 11; west of Highway 11 south to Regina; and west of Highway 6 from Regina to the U.S. border. The ban affects all provincial parks and recreation sites in the ban area, including: Buffalo Pound, Cypress Hills (Centre and West blocks), Danielson, Douglas, Saskatchewan Landing, St. Victor’s Petroglyphs and Wood Mountain Post provincial parks; Elbow Harbour, Coldwell Park, Cypress Lake, and Lovering Lake recreation sites.

    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. No other restrictions are currently in effect.

    Ontario has full fire bans in effect in Whitesand and Windigo Bay provincial parks.

    In Quebec, industrial burning licenses have been suspended and cancelled in the Maniwaki region.

    In New Brunswick, burning is restricted to the hours of 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. in all counties.

    No fire restrictions appear to be in effect in Nova Scotia.

    In Prince Edward Island, burning permits are required for all outdoor burning throughout the fire season. Burning permits have been suspended in the Western District.

    No fire bans appear to have been reported in Newfoundland.

    Prognosis

    The weather pattern in Canada remains more variable than in recent weeks. This brings a return to seasonal temperatures, higher humidity, and increased rainfall to much of the country. Southern parts of the western provinces remain dry and susceptible to fire starts; however, fire activity in Yukon and the northern Northwest Territories will likely continue to dwindle with repeated bands of rain. A Pacific storm crossing western Canada Friday and Saturday (August 18-19) will likely bring a fast-moving cold front, thundershowers, brisk west to northwest winds, potential for new fires, and quick fire growth. Following this, a ridge appears to build over western Canada early in the week of August 20, returning warm, dry, and calmer weather to much of the west; however, the ridge appears likely to move eastward late in the week. Eastern Canada appears to receive regular rainfall, limiting fire activity.

    Current graphs

    Note: For provinces, PC = Parks Canada

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