Residents in Kuujjuaq are breathing a collective sigh of relief after a fire that started burning near the community on Sunday afternoon, was put out Monday.

The community’s mayor, Tunu Napartuk, said the fire was powerful and moving fast, in an area where many people have cabins and houses.

Tunu Napartuk

Tunu Napartuk is Kuujjuaq's mayor. (Courtesy Tunu Napartuk)

He credits local firefighters and municipal crews with keeping the fire from reaching the community, with no injuries and no damage to any properties reported.

“The amount of energy it took the crew to deal with this... I'm completely inspired by the firefighting crew and the heavy equipment operators."

Crews worked through the night on Sunday, digging trenches and building fire walls in order to keep the fire at bay. Early Monday morning they got help from two water bombers sent in by the Quebec forest fire prevention agency.

That proved to be essential.

“We did not have much equipment to work with it,” Napartuk said. “First of all, the fire was not accessible by our regular fire trucks."

Napartuk said there hasn't been much rain since the spring and the trees and moss are very dry.