Water bombers tackle forest fire burning near Kuujjuaq

Quebec's forest fire prevention agency, SOPFEU, has dispatched water bombers to tackle a forest fire burning near Kuujjuaq, Que.
A water bomber flies over the forest near Kuujjuaq, Que. Quebec's forest fire prevention agency, SOPFEU, dispatched water bombers to tackle a fire burning near the community. (Isabelle Dubois)

Quebec's forest fire prevention agency dispatched an airplane to Kuujjuaq around 5 o'clock this morning to assess the situation.

A forest fire has been burning just a few kilometres away since Sunday afternoon. 

"We have two water bombers over there to make an air attack," says spokesperson Marie-Louise Harvey. 

Harvey says the fire stretches more than 80 hectares and can be attributed partly to the recent weather. 

The last few weeks have been dry and warm in the north with temperatures often reaching 20 degrees.

A much larger forest fire is also burning north east of Shefferville near Kawawachikamach.

Three water bombers attacked that fire yesterday, but at 874 hectares in size, it will take some time to put out.

"We think it would take around at least two weeks to put it out," Harvey says. 

Harvey expects the fire near Kuujjuaq will be out much faster. That could just be a matter of days. 

Firefighters, municipal workers and volunteers in Kuujjuaq worked all night to help contain the fire — sustained by tea and bannock, cookies, sandwiches and even goose stew and muktak brought by community members, according to local resident Isabelle Dubois.