The extent of the forest fires in Quebec is forcing SOPFEU to make decisions

With 132 active forest fires in Quebec, it will be “impossible” for the Society for the Protection of Forests from Fire (SOPFEU) to “systematically fight all fires,” she said on her Facebook page on Saturday afternoon.

While SOPFEU awaits reinforcements from the Canadian Army and from abroad, it must now prioritize its interventions around the themes of “protecting lives” and “energy infrastructures” such as the Hydro-Québec lines. Then you will focus on “25 to 27 priority fires”.

The situation is “critical,” said Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Saturday afternoon. According to data from Friday evening, almost 40,000 people are being evacuated to Canada, including 14,000 in Quebec.

Until Sunday, 200 soldiers will be used to reinforce the situation, especially on the north coast. You will be “accelerated training”. […] in the coming days” to fight the fires, SOPFEU said.

But to deal with “the magnitude of the situation” across Quebec, SOPFEU is also awaiting the arrival of reinforcements “within 7 to 8 days” from firefighters from countries Canada has an agreement with – USA, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand –, indicated to the Duty Stéphane Caron, Coordinator for Prevention and Communication at SOPFEU.

“Despite the ubiquitous smoke, the fires in Sept-Îles have “stopped their spread towards communities” thanks to cooler temperatures and a change in wind direction. However, the fires near this north coast community remain “out of control”.

Also in Chapais, in Jamésie, the situation calmed down on Saturday, where the evacuation notice that affected 800 people was lifted.

But the municipality of Lebel-sur-Quévillon, just over 200 kilometers away, which was evacuated on Friday evening, is still threatened by a fire that spreads over almost 110,000 hectares. “The situation remains worrying,” SOPFEU wrote, even as the wind “slightly pushes the flames away from the community.”

Residents of Lac-Simon, an Aboriginal community in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, also received an evacuation notice in the morning, this time mainly because of air and smoke toxicity.

Community leader Lucien Wabanonik asked the residents to prepare for the departure for “at least two days”.

On Friday, the CISSS de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue advised residents in the region to lock themselves in at least until Sunday due to poor air quality.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has also issued special bulletins on air quality throughout Quebec and smog warnings.

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Jordan Johnson

Award-winning entrepreneur. Baconaholic. Food advocate. Wannabe beer maven. Twitter ninja.

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