The province is on the alert: 11 fires, two of which are out of control, are currently burning in the territory. An extreme fire risk hangs over practically all of southern Quebec.
Since the beginning of May, the rain has been conspicuous by its absence for several regions of southern and central Quebec. The metropolitan area received barely 15% of its usual precipitation, and the city of Gatineau broke a 75-year dry-weather record.
This drought was then exacerbated by the heat wave that occurred in the first days of June. All the elements are therefore united to create a fertile ground for forest fires.
Most of Quebec painted red
Almost the entire province remains on red alert, while the risk of fire remains extreme for most areas.
As of June 13, the Society for the Protection of Forests Against Fire (SOPFEU) listed 11 fires still active.
Video: Thunderstorms in Quebec: this videographer has received his share of hailstones! 🔊 (The Weather Network)
Click here to enlarge
Among these, two fires located in the MRCs of Maria-Chapdelaine and Fjord-du-Saguenay were still considered to be out of control. These two incidents were also caused by lightning.
In addition, Environment Canada issued an air quality alert for the Chutes-des-Passes – Pipmuacan reservoir, Labrieville and Manic-3 sectors. High levels of air pollution are expected over the next few days due to these two fires.
SOPFEU even asked for help from colleagues from New Brunswick, Alberta and British Columbia. Thus, nearly 200 forest firefighters have arrived since Friday to fight the multiple fires. In addition, six tankers and one aeropointing aircraft from Alberta were also called in to assist.
The ban on open fires in the forest, issued by SOPFEU, remains in force for almost all of Quebec, with the exception of Estrie and part of Chaudières-Appalaches, for a period of indeterminate period.
Nearly 347 fires have been recorded so far since the start of the year.
Poor air quality possible
The winds could also bring smoke to the outskirts of the Capitale-Nationale, as well as within the city of Saguenay. If no warning has been issued to this effect for the moment, the air quality could still be reduced.
People with a respiratory disorder or a chronic illness such as asthma should therefore be particularly careful.