After weekend grassfires wreaked havoc in several areas around Saskatchewan, the conditions for those fires have gone from bad to worse.
A map showing the daily wildfire danger shows a large area of the province is at a high or extremely high risk.
The province has recorded 93 wildfires so far this spring compared to a five year average of 51.
Ray Unrau is the deputy commissioner and director of operations for emergency management and fire safety branch for the ministry of government relations.
He said the risk is certainly higher than normal for this time of year because the melting season was so short going from cold to very hot weather in just a few weeks.
“We’re prepared for volatile conditions, right now they look to be dry, but that could change any time. We’re prepared with equipment that’s been kind of moved around the province and we’re prepared to assist local jurisdictions with things like grass fires or things like severe weather if damage occurs,” Unrau explained.
“We take an all-hazards approach, although right now we seem to be in kind of a grass fire phase, but we’re ready for pretty much anything that we’ve seen before.”
He says the government doesn’t have the authority to enact a provincial fire ban but is encouraging municipalities monitor the risk in the area and to put them in place when necessary. As of Monday, there were 22 fire bans in place.
Beyond paying attention to local fire bans, people are being encouraged to report any plans for controlled burns to the provincial burn phone line.
The main message from the province is to be aware of the extremely dry conditions and to exercise care and caution to prevent grass fires.