Forest fire in the Lac-Saint-Jean: a camp-fire pointed the finger

Feu de forêt au Lac-Saint-Jean: un feu de camp pointé du doigt

An ordinary camp fire badly extinguished or left unattended, while the weather was very dry, would have triggered the huge fire that devastated more than 60,000 hectares of forest a few hundred kilometres north of the Lac-Saint-Jean.

At a press conference on Sunday, minister of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks, Pierre Dufour, has presented a photograph showing a circle of rock where it had apparently been lit a camp fire, near the area Chute-des-Passes.

One can’t be certain, but all indications are that this is where the huge fire was first originated, explained the minister.

The fire in the area of Chute-des-Passes, in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, seen from above. A camp fire going off near this area would be at the origin of the blaze, as was shown by the minister of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks, Pierre Dufour, in a press briefing Sunday.

At a press conference on Sunday, minister of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks, Pierre Dufour, has waved in front of the cameras a photograph, taken by members of the SOPFEU, showing a circle of rocks which has obviously been lit a camp fire, near the area Chute-des-Passes. According to the experts of the SOPFEU, everything indicates that it is the point of origin of the gigantic blaze, even if one can’t be certain. It is known that lightning does not fall.

“This photo, it shows possibly the probable cause of the start of the fire, said Mr. Dufour. […] This was not the vacationers, people who already have a cottage, it is the people who were possibly in a boat or with a tent who are arrested on the spot and made a fire, simply, which has been poorly controlled.”

  • The forest burns does it more than before ?


At the approach of the festival of Saint-Jean, while the risk of fire remains ” extreme “, Mr. Dufour has implored the population to demonstrate a high level of vigilance, by only lifting a reckless ” can cause a lot of damage “. Recall that a prohibition of open fires in the forest or in the vicinity thereof is still in force in the majority of the province.

“This is serious. The indices are so high that a fire takes off like this, ” has insisted, on his side, Eric Rousseau, director-general of the SOPFEU.


Mr. Dufour and the minister Andrée Laforest, responsible for the region of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, flew over in a helicopter to the area in flames. They said they were reassured to see that the central Péribonka Hydro-Québec has been spared up to now, and have praised the “professionalism” of the on-site teams.

The forest fire still out of control, ravaging 62 396 acres Sunday morning, the equivalent of more than half of the land area of Lac-Saint-Jean. Encouraging fact, it had increased “only” about 3900 hectares in twenty-four hours, whereas it had nearly doubled in size from Friday to Saturday.

The relative humidity is on the rise, and the rain is expected this week, which also bodes well, except when the lightning turns to the game. A reduction of the intensity of the blaze would attack more productive on the ground and from the air. By tomorrow, reinforcements of the Ontario and Alberta will increase the number of firefighters in forest at around 200.

Smoke up in Montreal

In the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Rivière-Ouelle, where a peat fire has devastated up here at least 326 acres of woodland, the situation also seemed to take the better, Sunday.

“There is no comparison with [Saturday]”, where the situation was more dire, said the mayor of the municipality, Louis-Georges Simard. That said, he did not want to take anything for granted, in the afternoon, since there were moderate winds, and it was feared that this réalimente the fire. Fortunately, it was still a safe distance from dwellings.

Air tankers have once again watered land in the vicinity of highway 20, which has forced its closure for a time. According to SOPFEU, the fire is “contained” but still not “mastered”.

This fire, in the Kamouraska region, has been felt up to Montreal, so that the large plume of smoke that is released on Saturday has recovered from the valley of the St. Lawrence river, triggering smog alerts in many regions between Quebec and the metropolis.

The concentration of fine particulate matter has even reached a concentration of “high” on Sunday morning in the metropolis, according to Environment Canada.

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