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Quebec asks people to avoid forested areas due to fire risk

The Quebec government has issued a preventive notice concerning the extreme risk of forest fires and is requesting the cooperation of everyone in the province. 

The Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts (MRNF) and the Ministère de la Sécurité publique (MSP) issued a statement on June 1, requesting that Quebecers avoid or restrict their travel in forested areas as much as possible over the next few days. The recommendation, which applies to the entire province, was made in conjunction with the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) to reduce the risk of new fires starting, while facilitating SOPFEU’s operations and ensuring public safety. 

 

The risk of forest fires in southern Québec is now at the extreme level according to the flammability index A ban on open fires in or near forests is in effect and the province has asked Quebecers to avoid or keep travel through forested areas to an absolute minimum over the next few days PHOTO SOPFEU

 

An earlier notice had requested that all logging and silviculture work be stopped as of 8 a.m. on June 1. A ban on open fires in or near forests has been in effect for several days already throughout the Montérégie and most other regions of the province due to the extreme flammability index. 

Since May 28, the province has been experiencing high, dry temperatures that have raised the flammability index to extreme levels. According to the interactive map produced by the SOPFEU, there are 113 active fires burning across the province as of 9 a.m. Friday morning. At least eight fires are raging out of control. The most active are burning in the Jamésie region in the northwest as well as in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. Residents in Chibougamau were forced to evacuate on May 31 due to a fire burning out of control in Chapais. 

Since the start of the protection season, there have been 322 forest fires that have impacted 11 752 hectares. The average over the last ten years at this time in the season is 192 fires and an affected area of 187.9 hectares. (SR)

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