A drier than usual May has increased the risk of fires across much of the province.

Nova Scotia’s fire weather index shows most of the province has a high to extreme risk of wildfire. 

Rain stats for May 2014 v. May average:

Weather station May 2014 rainfall Average May rainfall % below normal
Yarmouth 63 mm 100.9 mm 38 %
Halifax 31.9 mm 109.8 mm 71 %
Sydney 89.3 mm 100.9 mm 12 %

Northern Cumberland County, another area between Musquodoboit Harbour and Caledonia, and most of Queens County are all under extreme wildfire warnings.

CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell says the lack of rain in May has made for a dry start to June.

“One of the factors leading to the increased risk of wildfires in Nova Scotia at the end of May and the start of June was the fact that May was such a dry month. Despite cool conditions through much of May, at the end of the month, several weather observation stations reported rainfall amounts 30 to 70 per cent below the 30 year climate normals,” said Mitchell.

“Combine this with the fact that the last several days have been sunny weather with low relative humidity and the potential fuel for wildfires on the ground has become quite dry — leaves, grass clippings, branches, et cetera.”

Mitchell said wildfire threats should taper off soon as wet weather heads towards Nova Scotia.

“It does appear that we have some wet weather headed our way in the near future. Currently, a good chance of showers on Thursday with rain possible on Friday,” he said.