Tanker planes have been taking turns for several days in Abitibi-Ouest to protect the village of Normetal. (Archives)
Firefighters are making progress in their fight against the fire that has threatened Normétal and Saint-Lambert for a week.
SOPFEU confirms that the fire is contained, which means that its spread has been temporarily stopped.
“The next step is the fire that will be brought under control. This means that we will have completely stopped its progression. »
— Cathy Elliott Morneau, SOPFEU spokesperson
In the field, forest firefighters continue their work in order to control the fire that has already burned 8355 hectares. They are enjoying very favorable weather.
The New Brunswick major firefighting team is still in charge, with its 54 members on the ground. It relies on the support of some thirty auxiliary combatants trained by SOPFEU.
The interesting thing is that 25 people from the Canadian Army are heading towards the Normétal fire to add additional arms to the effort, says Cathy Elliott Morneau, SOPFEU spokesperson.
Even if the situation remains fragile, this is good news, according to Normand Lagrange, general manager of Abitibi-Ouest.
It calms anxiety about the threat we have to buildings and all that. I think people can be reassured, the threat decreases compared to the fire entering the urban environment of Normétal or Saint-Lambert, he says.
Normand Lagrange, Director General of the MRC d'Abitibi-Ouest.
However, there is still a long way to go before we can talk about reinstatement, warns Normand Lagrange.
I think there are a lot of assessments that must be made by municipalities, in collaboration with civil security and SOPFEU. As it is really close to Normétal and Saint-Lambert, I think that until the fire is under control, SOPFEU will surely not recommend reintegration at the resident level, believes Mr. Lagrange.
The MRC Abitibi-Ouest reminds citizens of the region that it is important to continue to respect all the prohibitions that are still in effect.