Environment Canada confirmed on Wednesday that 2019 has been the driest spring on record in several parts of Alberta.
The dry conditions have fuelled wildfires, and made fighting them difficult too.
The record dates vary in different parts of Alberta. Edmonton’s records go back to 1880, Lloydminster’s go back to 1953, High Level’s go back to 1966 and Fort Vermillion’s go back to 1905. However, across those records, 2019 has been the driest.
For the months of March, April and May, High Level saw only 2.1 millimetres of rain. Fort Vermillion had 10.2 mm, Lloydminster had 29.1 mm and Edmonton had 25.9 mm.
That is a very minimal amount of precipitation. Edmonton has received 33.9 mm of rain so far in June, which has helped the dry conditions. Environment Canada said the regions around High level haven’t seen any.
As of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, there were 17 wildfires burning in Alberta, seven of which were considered to be out of control. The largest of them is the Chuckegg Creek fire, which was nearly 270,000 hectares in size as of Wednesday night. One hectare is larger than a football field.
Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of wildfires in Alberta.
There is some potential relief on the horizon for the affected regions. The current forecast suggests that later this week, northern Alberta could be seeing some rain move through the region.