Long hoped for, the rain which fell on the province of Quebec since Tuesday night gave some hope to the teams of the SOPFEU, which, however, are not at the end of their sentence to contain the many forest fires that are rampant in Quebec.
On the side of the Lac-Saint-Jean, the gigantic blaze in the MRC of Maria-Chapdelaine remained content to approximately 62 000 hectares, with no significant progression since Tuesday
“What has stopped the progression of this fire, it really is the weather. There is talk in some areas of 10 mm of rain. It is very good. There has been a 25 mm in other sectors and this makes it possible to lower the intensity of the fire,” said the communications officer of the SOPFEU Josée Poitras TVA News, Wednesday.
Despite this progress, the party is far from won, and the teams will have to redouble our efforts in the next few days. It is possible, for example, that the wind turns to the party and reviving the fire.
The work continues as forest firefighters have been entitled to days of toil grueling, in a heat wave. “It has been days very difficult, intense heat. The priority is to stay hydrated, stay in shape, work as a team. […] It will squeeze the elbows together, we encourage one another,” said Jean-Sébastien Cousineau, a firefighter for SOPFEU.
Acceleration of the work
The situation is similar on the site of the fire bog of Rivière-Ouelle, Bas-Saint-Laurent, where the rain has been welcomed with open arms. “It is truly a blessing for us. We will be able to meet our objectives, meet”, is excited about Gerard Lacasse, a liaison to the SOPFEU, in an interview with TVA News.
Ironically, the arrival of the rain made it so that the fire may have even more work since they will be able to come on all the land affected by the blaze, which covers a little over 440 hectares.
“It is certain that this fire is not extinguished. It should not be that people think it is. It is a fire that will last several days,” warned Mr. Lacasse.
Farmers still relay on Wednesday, to go pour water on the peat, which burns in deep. “The tractor has not stopped. We changed driver, but it has not stopped”, he confided to an agricultural producer crossed by TVA News.
More broadly, the passage of the storm front allows the lifting of the prohibition of open fires almost everywhere in Quebec, with the exception of certain areas of the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord. The lifting of the ban will, however, force Thursday morning, a few hours too late to be able to celebrate the Saint-Jean-Baptiste with a great fire of joy.
The SOPFEU are now more than 500 forest fires since the beginning of the season, of which 18 in business, more than two times more than in average on the same date during the past ten years.