Federal fire officials update forecast for this year's wildfire season
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Federal fire officials update forecast for this year's wildfire season

A helicopter battles a wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Wednesday May 4, 2016. Officials say the wildfire danger is already high to extreme in areas of Western Canada. Natural Resources Canada's Northern Forestry Centre is providing a briefing today on the 2019 fire season forecast. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — Officials say the wildfire danger is already high to extreme in areas of Western Canada.

Natural Resources Canada’s Northern Forestry Centre in Edmonton is providing a briefing today on this year’s fire season forecast.

The forecast shows the fire danger is extreme in Yukon and parts of the southern prairies.

In British Columbia, an aggressive wildfire is burning west of Osoyoos near the U.S. border, and crews spent the weekend battling fires near some northern communities.

Alberta has 26 active fires, one of which is classified as out of control north of Peace River.

Federal officials say more than half of all wildfires are caused by humans and lightning strikes account for the rest.

The department works with provinces and territories on wildfire management, provides maps of daily fire weather and behaviour, notes fire locations and does monthly seasonal fire severity forecasts through an online information website.

Monthly forecasts help to determine trends expected for the upcoming fire season.

The Canadian Press

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