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Open fire ban lifted in Bas Saint-Laurent, Gaspesie; still in effect in Northern Quebec

An open campfire in Quebec. There is a ban in place for regions in Northern Quebec, while the ban has been lifted in the Gaspesie and Bas Saint-Laurent. (Wiki Commons) An open campfire in Quebec. There is a ban in place for regions in Northern Quebec, while the ban has been lifted in the Gaspesie and Bas Saint-Laurent. (Wiki Commons)
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The Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has lifted the ban on open fires in the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions.

The changes came into effect at 12 p.m. on Monday.

The decision was taken in collaboration with the Quebec's forest fire prevention agency (SOPFEU) "due to weather conditions bringing rain to the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie regions."

The day before, the ministry announced an extension of the ban zone to the Nord-du-Québec, Côte-Nord and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean regions. These three regions are still under an open fire ban.

In the areas concerned, it is therefore still forbidden to light an open fire - which SOPFEU defines on its website as "any fire burning freely or that could spread freely" - in or near a forest, on pain of a fine ranging from $500 to $50,000.

Pyrotechnics (fireworks) and instruments that produce flames or sparks (welding instruments) are examples of open fires.

Active forest fires

As of early Monday afternoon, seven forest fires were active in Quebec's massive protection zone.

Since the start of the season, 173 forest fires have destroyed 14,279.5 hectares. The ten-year average for the same date is 229 fires for 113,531.3 hectares burned.

Here is the precise list of areas still affected by the ban on open fires:

North Quebec: Jamésie, Eeyou Istchee (in Waswanipi, Mistissini, Oujé-Bougoumou, Chisasibi, Eastmain, Nemiscau, Waskaganish, Wemindji).

North Coast: Haute-Côte-Nord, Manicouagan, Sept-Rivières, Caniapiscau, Minganie, Le Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent.

Saguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean: Le Domaine-du-Roy, Maria-Chapdelaine, Le Fjord-du-Saguenay (north of the Saguenay River).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 24, 2024.

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