Quebec has reinstated all its firefighters to deal with the major raging wildfires, while 10,000 people had to be evacuated to Sept-El. Authorities hope the cooler temperatures and rains will help improve the situation.
• Also read: Forest fires in Sept-El: a fire “out of control and unpredictable”
• Also read: About 5,000 people were evacuated in September due to bushfires
“We have repatriated all the SOPFEU staff. Almost 400 people are on the ground. There were some who were outside Quebec, so we have repatriated our planes, and they are on the ground,” Public Security Minister François Bonardel said in the halls of Parliament Friday morning. also”.
The minister stated that there are currently 107 wildfires in Quebec. “We are currently working on 20 of these fires to protect the population and water infrastructure in Quebec,” he said.
- Listen to the interview with Josée Poitras, SOPFEU Prevention and Communications Officer, on the Philippe-Vincent Foisy program broadcast via QUB Radio:
In addition to returning all of its personnel, the government has the support of the armed forces, and has asked for help from abroad. We have invited allied countries with whom we have agreements, in particular the United States, Mexico and Portugal. “We are waiting for feedback from them,” said the Minister of Natural Resources and Forests, Maite Blanchett-Vezina.
Meanwhile, authorities hope the cool weather and rain will help reduce the intensity of the fires.
“We’re expecting 20-degree rain and 18-degree rain anyway this morning. We’re crossing our fingers for it to dip so we can find a little peace and serenity for these evacuees,” Mr. Bonardell said.
For its part, the federal government maintains that Quebec has a “robust” system for fighting wildfires, but says it is ready to help if the situation gets out of control, even if it means asking for help from abroad.
“She is still in temporary mode at this point,” Emergency Preparedness Secretary Bill Blair said on Friday.
We do not have a situation beyond Quebec’s ability to respond, but we do expect. We have to be ready in case things get serious.”
According to Minister Bonardelle, 10,000 people had to be evacuated to Sept-Ile, as a state of emergency had been declared. Nearly 1,000 people have also been forced from their homes in the village of Chapais.
“There are open evacuation centres,” Minister Bonardell said when asked where the people concerned would go. “We invite the population to go to the beds. It is not easy, there are still many people.” There will be between 2,000 and 3,000 people who will need housing at the moment.
In addition to the evacuations, the wildfires have also caused problems for Hydro-Québec, confirmed Prime Minister François Legault, who said he was concerned about the situation.
Yesterday, fires triggered a system in Hydro-Quebec which means there are 250,000 homes without power. There, we’re at 5,000 this morning.
Access to forests is prohibited in certain areas
In addition, access to forests will be prohibited to citizens in seven regions until further notice, the government has decided.
“I have signed a ministerial order to close public places, some roads in seven regions, because the situation is alarming and we want to ensure the safety of citizens,” said Minister Blanchett-Vezina.
The sectors targeted by the ban are located on the northern coast, in Saguenay-la-Cien-Saint-Jean, in northern Quebec, in Abitibi-Tmiscaming, in the Laurentians and Lanaudière.
Municipalities affected by the ban
Abitibi and Northern Quebec
Abitibi, La Vallée-de-l’Or, Jamésie
Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Laurentians, and Lanaudière
La Touques, Gatineau Valley, Mataweni, Antoine Labelle
Northern Quebec and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Le Domaine-du-Roy, Maria-Chapdelaine, Oujé-Bougoumou, Lac-Saint-Jean-Est, Le Fjord-du-Saguenay
Upper North Shore, Manikwagan, Sept Riviere, Mingani
– In collaboration with Rafael Biro