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Wildfires prompt more evacuations ordered in northwestern Quebec

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Officials in northwestern Quebec have ordered residents of two villages near the Ontario border to leave their homes as a wildfire continues to spread in the area.

Residents of the villages of Val-Paradis and Beaucanton, home to around 340 people, were given an hour and a half to evacuate on Friday night due to the approach of a nearby fire.

Officials said earlier in the day the blaze was around 12 kilometres from Val-Paradis, but poor visibility and high winds made operations with waterbombers impossible.

Over the previous two days, more than 6,000 people were ordered to leave their homes in northwestern Quebec due to heavy smoke from the fires.

The province's wilderness firefighting agency is asking Quebecers in most areas not to launch fireworks or light bonfires as part of their celebrations of the provincial Fête Nationale holiday.

Outdoor fires are banned in much of Quebec, except for some regions south of the St. Lawrence river and the island cities of Montreal and Laval.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2023.

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