'Extreme' fire risk present across Quebec
Translated press release from the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu:
The Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) calls on the public to be cautious. Since the beginning of spring, a much higher number of fires than usual has been recorded, despite the ban on open fires which prevails over much of Quebec. Since Saturday, 64 fires have been recorded. Current weather conditions cause a fire danger reaching the "extreme" level in most of Quebec.
The situation for the next few days is even more worrying as the weather forecast will maintain the conditions conducive to the outbreak of fires. High temperatures, lack of precipitation, and very low humidity will cause the outbreak of fires in the coming days. SOPFEU also recalls that in spring, greenery is not yet present everywhere. Dead leaves and dry grasses are highly flammable. It only takes a few hours of sunshine and a little wind to dry out the brush and increase the risk of fire, even in places where the snow has just disappeared.
According to SOPFEU, citizens must be aware of the risks associated with burns and campfires. The population is therefore asked to be extra careful, to avoid burning of waste or residual materials and to comply with the ban on open fires in place in areas where the snow cover has disappeared. SOPFEU also recalls that even if the public health authorities now authorize small gatherings outside, campfires remain prohibited where the restriction is in force.
Since the start of the protection season, 236 fires have been started affecting 254.1 hectares of forest, 100% of which is attributable to human activity. On average, SOPFEU records by this time of year 134 fires totaling 1,751.8 hectares.