High forest fire risk

Anyone who says dry and hot weather says risk of forest fires. With the rise in mercury announced in Quebec this week, a ban on open fires has come into effect throughout the south of the province until further notice.

Posted at 11:42 p.m

Leah Carrier

Leah Carrier
The press

A mass of hot, dry air is set to sweep across Quebec in the coming days, prompting the Department of Forests, Wildlife and Parks on Saturday to issue a ban on open fires in or near the forest in the province’s south.

The sectors affected by this measure range from Abitibi-Témiscamingue to Bas-Saint-Laurent and from Montérégie to Mauricie.

The mercury will rise rapidly in the coming days, reaching what feels like 31C in Montreal on Friday, according to Environment Canada – the first of the season.

However, it is less the heat than the expected low humidity that poses a risk of forest fires the spokeswoman for the Society for the Protection of Forests against Fire (SOPFEU), Mélanie Morin.

In spring the grass on the ground is yellow and the undergrowth is not yet covered with its green carpet. “When you mix that, everything catches fire very quickly,” she explains.

Quebec has already recorded 69 wildfires – including 2 active ones – affecting 73.5 hectares since the start of the season. Currently, the province is within the seasonal norm but by one factor.

“What is remarkable is that the vast majority of our fires this year have occurred in the last week,” said Ms.me morin

Although the open fire ban currently only affects the south of the province, SOPFEU recommends that all Québecians exercise extreme caution when lighting a fire in or near the forest.

“There are places where the risk of fire is already high and is expected to increase extremely tomorrow and this week,” warns Mme morin

Quebec spared from the floods?

However, there is nothing to worry about in terms of flooding. The current climatic conditions tend to play in our favour. Like last year, all indications are that Quebec will be spared flooding this spring.

In the absence of sustained heavy rains and cool nights in recent weeks, the southern part of the province escaped without major flooding.

In eastern Quebec, where snow cover remains important, melting snow will have limited impact on flooding, civil security officials told The Canadian Press. “To have significant consequences, you would have to add a lot of rain. »

Apart from light showers on Tuesday, however, according to Environment Canada, no significant amounts of rain are to be expected in the short term.

With the Canadian Press

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