Canadian and U-S firefighters arrive to help fight Quebec forest fires

Recent lightning strikes plus ongiong heat and dry weather have fuelled a jump in forest fires across Quebec. 

This weekend, about 60-fires are burning in the province, but reinforcements have arrived from Saskatchewan, Alberta, the US state of Massachusetts and from Parks Canada. 

More than 200 Canadian and American firefighters have been deployed in Quebec since the end of June. This is to lend a hand to the roughly 400 colleagues at the Society for the Protection Against Forests Fires who are already very busy keeping blazes at bay. 

Isabelle Gariépy of SOPFEU reports that 357 fires have been recorded since the beginning of the season, compared to an average of 276 fires for the same period over the last ten years.

"In past years, many cohorts from Quebec have been to British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan in somewhat quieter times on our side," says Gariépy. This year, the opposite is happening."

Quebec is a signatory to the Canadian Firefighters Mutual Aid Agreement and the Northeastern States Pact on Forest Fire Protection, which allows it to borrow these resources when its own overwhelmed.