The Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) asked the population to exercise caution. The early spring, bringing several days of sun and dry weather particularly in the Outaouais, could have an effect on the fire danger which currently varies from “high” to “extreme”, since the rise in temperatures, the absence of precipitation and very low humidity levels favor the outbreak of brush and forest fires.
The SOPFEU recalls that in early spring, greenery is not yet present, which makes dead grass highly flammable. The last winter received less snow accumulation than normal, and the ground is drier. Since the start of the protection season, ten fires have already been started affecting 4.8 hectares (ha) of forest, 100% of which are attributable to human activity. On average, the SOPFEU records four fires for 2.3 ha of affected forest during this period of the year.
With snow cover already gone in many areas, it only takes a few hours of sunshine and a little wind to dry out the brush and increase the fire danger.
Unfortunately, every spring, many wildfires are caused by citizens who underestimate the risk associated with waste burns.
Remember that several municipalities don’t allow burnings or require a permit to carry out a domestic burning. For its part, the SOPFEU advocates ecological and safe alternatives, such as composting, green waste collection and the deposit of residual materials at the ecocentre. The French interview with Mélanie Morin from the SOPFEU is available here.