With the province still catching its breath from a brutal wildfire season, Mother Nature might not provide much relief for crews as summer winds down.
Due to a stronger El-Nino system this year, many weather models are predicting more hot, dry weather in the coming months for western Canada.
Among them is the forecasting service Accuweather, which predicts the region will see an abnormally high number of days over 30 degrees away from the coast into early October.
That could mean an extended fire season in Saskatchewan, said Scott Wasylenchuk, provincial fire centre manager.
“It will lengthen the time the forest is dry and we may have wildfires burning,” he said, adding its not uncommon to have significant fires burning into the latter part of summer.
“It will lengthen the time the forest is dry and we may have wildfires burning” – Scott Wasylenchuk
He said the big difference as we move from summer to fall are the number of human caused fires as lightning becomes less of a risk.
“What tends to save us (in fall) is that humidities are a bit higher. The days are shorter. We have lots of due in the morning so the fire intensities aren’t as great.”
Wasylenchuk said the province will monitor conditions and are prepared to keep crews and equipment running longer if needed.
The bill is still coming in on the cost of this year’s fire season. At the end of July the province said it had spent more than $100 million fighting fires in the north.
At the peak of the crisis over 13,000 people were evacuated from 50 northern communities. Over 100 structures, mostly cabins, were lost due to fires.