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“Out of Control: 10 of 101 Quebec Forest Fires Blaze Unchecked | Breaking:”


As firefighters struggle to contain fires in Quebec’s forests, the province’s fire prevention agency Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU), warns Quebec residents that there are more fires out of control than the service can handle.

As of Friday morning, there were 101 fires, 10 of which were uncontrollable, SOPFEU spokesman Stéphane Caron told Radio-Canada’s All in all. He added that they expect that number to double by the end of the day,

“At the moment, with 101 active fires, SOPFEU certainly can’t tackle them all, so we have to prioritize there,” said Caron, as they only have the capacity to fight 30 fires at a time.

The problem comes not from a lack of resources, but from the sheer number of fires burning at once, he said.

“Our priority is to protect communities where people live and strategic, critical infrastructure.”

Nearly half of the residents of Chapais in northern Quebec have been brought to safety (Submitted by Nina Grondin)

The situation in the northern Quebec city of Chapais — where more than 500 homes were evacuated this week — has improved, but the fires at Sept-Îles in the province’s North Shore region are concerning, Caron said.

Protecting Hydro-Québec’s power lines is also a top priority, he said.

Caron said SOPFEU has called for help, but with so many crews fighting fires in eastern and western Canada, it may have to call on foreign firefighting teams.

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