COVID-19 and the confinement of recent months could be factors in the increased activity of the Société de la protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) in 2020.
According to the organization’s prevention and communications officer, Mélanie Morin, the final summer 2020 assessment could reveal that the season was “more active than normal” because of the pandemic, in addition to the highs. temperatures known in recent weeks.
During the month of July, four forest fires broke out on the territory of the MRC Pontiac . Thirteen fires in all have been listed since the start of the season, so some are of human origin, which is why SOPFEU is asking the public to cooperate, in particular because of COVID-19.
With the pandemic situation prevailing in Quebec, each outing of municipal firefighters and those of SOPFEU increases the risk of contamination. The organization therefore asks the population to be extra careful.
To date, thirteen fires have been declared on the territory of the MRC Pontiac :
|13 April||Near Alleyn-et-Cawood||3,7||Residents|
|3 May||Near Bristol and the municipality of Pontiac||0,8||Recreation|
|6 May||Near Otter Lake||0,7||Residents|
|20 May||Near Otter Lake||2,4||Industrial Op.|
|22 May||Near Otter Lake||0,0||Residents|
|22 May||Near Otter Lake||1,9||Residents|
|4 July||Near Bristol and the municipality of Pontiac||2,0||Recreation|
|10 July||Near Rapides-des-Joachims||0,3||Lightning|
|1 August||Near Bristol and the municipality of Pontiac||0,6||Residents|
These fires burned a total of 52 hectares.
Although the fire danger is currently “low”, the index could change in the coming days due to the expected high temperatures.
The SOPFEU stresses that the forest fire season is not over yet. Badly extinguished campfires, cigarette butts, and all-terrain vehicles can all start a forest fire. The organization invites the public to consult the fire danger on its website or via its mobile application before engaging in recreational activities.
The full interview with Mélanie Morin regarding the most recent fire report in the region is available here.