Ottawa

Firefighters work to control Pontiac forest fires

A hot dry start to May has led to a number of forest fires across Quebec, including three in the Pontiac region.
A large area near Danford Lake is in ashes after a fisherman set up campfire that got out of control. (Kamil Karamali/CBC)

A hot dry start to May has led to a number of forest fires across Quebec, including three in the Pontiac region covering more than 15 hectares.

Water bombers flew over the Danford Lake area Wednesday as firefighters tried to put out several forest fires. While many of them are now under control, the Society for the Protection of Forests Against Fire (known by the French acronym SOPFEU) said there remain 15 active fires in the province.

So far this year there have been 192 forest fires in Quebec. The 10-year average by this time of year is 107 fires, according to SOPFEU.

Danford Lake residents said there aren't enough resources to deal with fires during hot and dry seasons.

"Today there was three different fires all going at the same time and the fire department has a hard time getting a hold of the firefighters, because they'd be out fighting one fire and another fire breaks out somewhere else," said Jim Giroux.

"So it's pretty dry, it's bad."

Fire officials said they believe the Danford Lake fire was caused after a fisherman set up a campfire that got out of control.

A burn ban has been in effect in Papineau, Gatineau, Les Collines de l'Outaouais, Gatineau Valley and Pontiac regions since May 6.

The risk of fire is expected to drop on Saturday, with rain forecast to fall in the region.

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