Montreal

Quebec forest fire risk rising

Quebec's Forest Fire Protection Agency is warning that hot, dry weather in parts of the province could raise the risk of forest fires.
Luca Spertini (right) and Steve Gingras put out hot spots at a fire near the operations headquarters at Camp Daniel, 250 kilometres north of Lac St. Jean, Quebec Wednesday, July 10, 2002. (CP PHOTO/Ryan Remiorz)

Quebec's Forest Fire Protection Agency is warning that hot, dry weather in parts of the province could raise the risk of forest fires.

The agency is asking  vacationers to be extra careful this weekend.   It hasn't rained heavily for several days and weather forecasters are predicting hot, dry weather for the next few days.

Officials at the agency are urging anyone who is camping to find an open area spot - away from trees, and sheltered from winds - when making a campfire.

On Saturday morning there were no forest fires burning in the province.

Last May, pockets of central Canada and the eastern United States were covered in a dull haze because of smoke drifting from forest fires in central and northern Quebec.

A thick cloud of smoke and a burnt odour reached Montreal and was reported as far west as Ottawa.

There were even reports in the U.S. from the National Weather Service of smoke rippling across New England, with a strong smell in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and as far away as Cape Cod, Mass.

At the time, several Montrealers reported having been awakened by the smell, fearing that their home was on fire.

At the end of May 2010, more than 50 forest fires were burning in the province, according to Quebec's public safety agency.

More than 720 square kilometres of forest land were destroyed during the last  week of May 2010 .