Quebec asks people to avoid travelling in forests due to high fire risk
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The Quebec government has issued a preventive notice regarding the risk of forest fires, and is asking for the cooperation of everyone in the province.
The Natural Resources and Forests Ministry and the Public Security Ministry issued the notice Thursday morning, asking Quebecers to avoid or restrict their forest travel as much as possible over the next few days, due to the extreme flammability index and worrisome fires underway in certain parts of Quebec.
This recommendation, made in conjunction with the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU), applies to all regions of Quebec. Not only does it aim to reduce the risk of fire, it also facilitates SOPFEU's operations.
For the past few days, open fires in or near forests have been prohibited throughout Quebec.
High, dry temperatures and low precipitation throughout the province are increasing the flammability index.
SOPFEU adds that in spring, there is a lot of dead vegetation on the ground, which is a highly flammable fuel, as it dries out very quickly with a few hours of sunshine and a little wind.
On Thursday morning, SOPFEU reported that eleven forest fires were active in Quebec. The most active were raging in the Jamésie region in the northwest, as well as in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
One of them, burning in Chapais, was out of control and caused residents to evacuate to the town of Chibougamau on Wednesday.
- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 1, 2023