Firefighters are battling a fire at a peat farm near Saint-Modeste which is burning on a 3-kilometre stretch of land.

The fire started Tuesday afternoon at the farm just east of Rivière-du-Loup.

peat farm smoke worker

Firefighters work to put out a fire at a peat farm in Saint-Modeste, Que. (Radio-Canada)

Witnesses up to 100 kilometres away said they could smell the smoke, which was so heavy six families were forced to leave their homes.

Water bombers from Quebec's forest protection service flew in to help douse the flames as firefighters from several local communities worked on the ground. 

water bomber plane peat fire saint modeste

A water bomber plane douses the fields of a peat farm as ground crews work to put out the flames. (Radio-Canada)

Saint-Modeste Mayor Louis-Marie Bastille said it could take days to put out the fire completely.

By Wednesday morning, crews had the flames mostly under control, but the fire continued to smoulder below the surface.

Bastille said once the fire is out, they will have to continue to keep an eye on the peat for several days.