The number of fires burning in Canada’s top energy-producing province of Alberta declined in recent days, allowing some energy companies to restore oil and gas production that had been shut earlier in the month.  

Alberta had 71 fires, 20 of them out of control, as of early Tuesday, provincial data show. That’s down from 93 fires, including 26 out of control, on Friday afternoon. Cooler temperatures and rain in the days ahead are expected to provide further relief. 

NuVista Energy Ltd., which curtailed production by the equivalent of about 35,000 barrels of oil a day between May 5 and 22 due to fires in the Grand Prairie area, resumed most of its operations over the weekend. Daily output is up to 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, and “if rain and favorable winds occur as forecast,” production may rise to 80,000 barrels or more. 

“The wildfire situation remains highly volatile across Alberta, but we are hopeful that there is some relief in sight,” Bre Hutchinson, executive director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, said during  a briefing on Monday. 

The rash of infernos that began earlier this month have shut about a fifth of Canada’s natural gas production at times and prompted the evacuation of about 40,000 residents.