Public Security Minister François Bonnardel provided an update on the forest fires on Tuesday. He was accompanied by the deputy for Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue, Daniel Bernard, and the deputy for Abitibi-Est, Pierre Dufour.
Public Security Minister François Bonnardel says the next few weeks could be difficult.
In Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec, 78 forest fires are active . The Society for the Protection of Forests Against Fire (SOPFEU) fought 13 of these fires.
In Lebel-sur-Quévillon, the fire which worries the authorities about ten kilometers from the city has slowed its progress. However, the winds could change direction.
Forest firefighters are also trying to control forest fires in Abitibi-Ouest. The fire is about 7 kilometers from Saint-Lambert where a state of emergency was declared on Monday.
Currently, 230 firefighters and a half -dozen planes are on the ground.
New Brunswick crews and auxiliary firefighters will come to help their colleagues who are currently fighting the wildfires. Within 5 days, there will be more or less 250-260 more firefighters in Abitibi, said Public Security Minister François Bonnardel. International assistance is also requested.
The Minister affirms that sharing resources is more difficult, since there are forest fires in the west of the country and in Quebec.
It will remain complicated as long as there is so much fire, he said. We could worry even more from tomorrow or the day after tomorrow with northeast winds that could push a little more towards the large municipalities.
L'Abitibi -Témiscamingue is the region most affected by forest fires in Quebec. The sectors under high surveillance are Normétal, in Abitibi-Ouest, and Lebel-sur-Quévillon.
“In the next few weeks, it may not be easy. The advice to close your windows, to pay attention to physical activities, it will be to evolve every day, but it remains that we are leaving for an extraordinary summer.
— François Bonnardel
He added that no injuries were recorded in connection with the forest fires. You cannot enter public lands, this is not the time to go to the cottage at this time, the minister reminded.
The Sûreté du Québec carried out around twenty rescues. These are operations likely to interfere with the work of SOPFEU.
“A large part of these fires are human cause. »
— François Bonnardel
The area of forest burned in the province is 4.8 times the city of Montreal. Air quality is also affected by fires and smoke.
Motorists must stop at a checkpoint on Route 113.
< p class="e-p">In Lebel-sur-Quévillon a fire is approaching road 113. François Bonnardel indicates that the optical fiber could be cut if the fire crossed the road, which could affect access to the Internet.
For infrastructure, there are no cases of force majeure at the moment, but we are on the lookout to ensure that our facilities are saved, he argues.
< p class="e-p">Mining companies are also a priority, since they represent economic engines.
In Abitibi-Ouest and Nord-du-Québec, approximately 5,500 people were evacuated. Some municipalities keep their citizens on high alert.
In Senneterre, people who left their homes on Friday evening are eager to get home, even if they feel they are very well received.
Yvon Labonté and Jean-Pierre Mongrain are patiently waiting to be able to return to their home.
I have my house and I have the Bar L'Atout, but you have to be optimistic. I don't see any problems with all the planes that are coming, says Jean-Pierre Mongrain.
I'm staying with a friend in Senneterre and I'm very well received! When we can go back, I'll be happy because I have a house and I had just done my garden, and it was beautiful, adds his friend Yvon Labonté.
A citizen of Lebel-sur-Quévillon is even in its second evacuation due to forest fires. Julie Paquin packed her bags with her family 31 years ago, to the day.