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Is recent rain in Saskatchewan dousing wildfire and drought concerns?

Rain is hitting several parts of Saskatchewan, but is it enough to start helping with the drier-than-normal conditions seen in many parts of the province?

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency said there have been 111 wildfires in the province this year, more than doubling the five year average of 41.

Of those fires, five were still active as of Monday.

Several rural municipalities across the province have declared a fire ban, despite the moisture recently seen in many areas.

While most of Saskatchewan has a low to moderate rating in the fire weather index, there are still many areas with a high potential fire intensity.

Ray Orb, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) president, said the recent rain has helped the drought situation, but there are still many areas that are quite dry, pointing to the southwest region.

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Click to play video: 'Cool, wet weather: May 6 Saskatchewan weather outlook'

Cool, wet weather: May 6 Saskatchewan weather outlook

“We know that there has been very little moisture in that region so far this Spring,” Orb said.

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He was optimistic with some of the forecasting saying that a lot of rain could be hitting that area shortly.

He said a SARM director who lives down in that area said they had about 10-12 mm of rain so far.

Orb was hopeful that they wouldn’t be facing a drought situation this year, but noted that it was too early to say.

He said with seeding right now there’s good moisture in the ground, and cattle producers need grass to start growing.

“It’s been a slow start. It’s been very cool compared to most years.”

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Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan enters heart of wildfire season just weeks into spring'

Saskatchewan enters heart of wildfire season just weeks into spring

He said for many rural municipalities concerns around fire bans, wildfires and wildfire smoke still linger.

Peter Quinlan, meteorologist, said places like Saskatoon and Regina can expect to see potentially another 10-20 mm of rain fall.

“The southwest and west central part of the province could be in that 20-30 mm range,” Quinlan said.

He said Cypress Hills could see as much as 50-70 mm of rain by Wednesday.

Quinlan said we’re still a little short from what we would typically see in May, adding that we are coming off of a string of drier-than-normal conditions.

“We really need to see more systems like this push through in the coming weeks. June is usually the wettest month of the year.”

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