Open fires near forests banned in 12 Quebec regions

Twelve Quebec regions will now be subjected to a ban on open fires in or near forests.

The announcement was made Thursday by the Quebec government, in collaboration with the Society to protect forests against fire (SOPFEU).

The ban came into effect Wednesday, following precarious weather conditions in southern Quebec.

The regions affected include the area between the Saint Lawrence River, heading north to Baie James, as well as from the Ontario border heading west to the Côte-Nord, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie.

SOPFEU has already declared the risk of forest fire as extreme in these regions.

In the regions located south of the Saint Lawrence River, including Montreal and Quebec City, the risk is considered very high.

In northern Quebec, the risk is high or low, depending on the area.

The weather forecast over the next few days calls for dry weather in many areas.

Wednesday evening, there were 16 forest fires, mostly in the Lac-Saint-Jean and Manicouagan regions. Three of them were not under control.

SOPFEU states there have already been 328 forest fires this year in Quebec. The average number of fires at this time, over the past ten years, is 193.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 10, 2021. 

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