Much needed rain is expected to fall across the region beginning late this afternoon.

Over the next 36 hours, accumulations of between 20 and 45 millimetres of rain are expected, which will help reduce the forest fire hazard in the region.

Environment Canada Meteroglist, Peter Kimbell, says May has been very dry.

"It's been dry the month of May. So far only 12 millimetres [of rain have fallen] so far. Normal May precipitation in Kenora would be around 81 millimeters, so it has been dry," Kimbell noted.

The rain is expected to start later today, before picking up throughout the day on Thursday.

"We're looking for probably 15 to 25 millimeters tomorrow (Thursday), but including tonight as well, we could be looking as high as 40 millimeters in some areas," added Kimbell.

The forecast for the May Long Weekend is calling for cooler temperatures and rain throughout the weekend.