No less than 112 fires covering an area of 57.5 hectares were fought by firefighters from the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) and municipal firefighters during the month of April. The SOPFEU explains that the early spring, a sequence of sunny weather and very low humidity rates favored the outbreak of more wildfires than usual at the start of the season. By comparison, the average for the last ten years is 39 fires for 23.1 hectares affected by the fire.
“The geographic distribution of fires is found to be particularly scattered throughout the province, while spring fires are usually more concentrated in the southern regions of Quebec. It should also be noted that all of the fires listed were caused by human activity,”SOPFEU underlines in a press release.
Almost 50% of the fires that occurred during this period were caused by the loss of control of a burning of rubbish or residual materials by residents. SOPFEU recalls that in spring, greenery is not yet present. Dry plants and dead grass are highly flammable.
"It only takes a few hours of sunshine and a little wind to dry out the brush and increase the fire danger. Unfortunately, once again this year, it is clear that many citizens underestimate the risk associated with the burning of rubbish, ”says SOPFEU.
The protection organization recommends composting, the collection of green waste and the deposit of residual materials at the ecocentre. SOPFEU invites the population to redouble their vigilance.