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Quebec offers $50 million to businesses affected by unprecedented wildfire season

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Quebec has announced $50 million in support for businesses hit by unprecedented wildfires that have been raging for several weeks in different regions of the province.

The measures announced Wednesday target loggers, sawmills, paper mills, outfitters, tourism operators and other affected local businesses.

The assistance will be a loan or loan guarantee and will be administered by the regional municipality or the provincial government's investment corporation, depending on the amount needed.

According to the province's forest fire prevention agency, known as SOPFEU, there were 135 fires burning across the province on Wednesday, including 69 in the "intensive protection zone" where it systematically fights all fires.

Three of those fires in northern Quebec are considered out of control near the towns of Chibougamau and Lebel-sur-Quévillon.

The other fires are in what the agency calls its northern zone, where authorities only fight blazes if infrastructure or homes are threatened.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2023.

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