Wildfire risk high to extreme across most of Nova Scotia

There is a downside to the hot, sunny weather we've been seeing lately in Nova Scotia — and we're not talking about sunburns.

Fire weather index map updated daily between 1:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. during fire season

There is a downside to the hot, sunny weather we've been seeing lately in Nova Scotia — and we're not talking about sunburns— the fire weather index map for the province shows much of Nova Scotia is under a high to extreme risk for wildfires.

"Because we've had such a nice stretch of beautiful, nice, warm, sunny weather — when the weather is warm, and we don't get any rain, and the wind is nice and pleasant, and we have low humidity — it dries up the indexes," said Jim Rudderham, supervisor of wildfire management with the Department of Natural Resources.

According to the most recent index, all of western Nova Scotia is high, with extreme wildfire risk near Pictou and Antigonish.

"You should check everyday to see what the burn restrictions are. They're up by 2 p.m. everyday ... and if they say you can burn after a certain time, you need to be extremely careful with whatever you're doing with an outdoor flame today," said Rudderham.

He said the province needs a lot of rain to bring the wildfire risk down.

"We would need to have a few days of a nice, good, steady rain — not a hard pressing rain, because the ground right now is so hard, it would just wash off," said Rudderham.

"We need a few days of a nice steady rain to come to Nova Scotia."