Montreal

Amid summer heat, campfires banned in parts of Quebec

Quebec's forestry ministry and the forest fire prevention agency says the ban, which goes into effect this morning, is needed in light of current weather conditions.

The ban is not as extensive as this time last year

A fire ban means all outdoor fires are prohibited in some areas of Quebec. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

While camping season is in full swing, campfires are banned in some areas of Quebec to prevent forest fires.

Quebec's forestry ministry and the forest fire prevention agency says the ban is needed in light of current weather conditions.

The regions affected include some sectors in Northern Quebec, the North Shore, the Saguenay region, the Laurentians and the Outaouais. The risk is high in these areas due to the recent hot and dry weather.

A map showing the exact regions where the ban is in effect is available online, courtesy of the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU).

At this time last year, the ban on open fires covered a much greater area, affecting nearly a dozen regions.

There are five active forest fires in the province, but the number so far this season is lower than average.

According to SOPFEU, there have been 119 fires this year and the 10-year average for this date is 300. 

More than 5,670 hectares have burned compared to the 10-year average of more than 36,000.

The risk of forest fire in the Quebec City and Montreal regions is moderate to high.

"If we make a campfire this week and we do not take the necessary precautions, that is to say, to extinguish it, we could have damage to the forest," said Marie-Louise Harvey, SOPFEU spokesperson.

Smokers should also exercise caution in the forest or on the trails, she said, ensuring their cigarettes are properly extinguished and disposed of.

Harvey said three out of every four fires are of human origin while the rest are often caused by lightning.

With files from Radio-Canada

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