news and events » news

News Header

News Item

return to News

Officials say wildfire in Quebec largely due to region's ongoing heat wave

by Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather |

While portions of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada were baking in mid-summer heat this past week, a wildfire sparked in southern Quebec. Continued heat may hamper firefighter efforts through Monday.

The fire first ignited on Tuesday, June 16, well north of Saguenay, Quebec in Eastern Canada, but was fanned by gusty winds and expanded southward through the week, according to the CBC.

The latest update on Friday evening from Quebec's forest fire prevention agency (SOPFEU), said that the fire swelled to more than 144,000 acres, putting a hydro plant near Lake Saint-Jean at risk.

A total of 49 firefighters were on the ground Saturday, helping to evacuate residents and campers in the Pipmuacan Reservior region. Despite the fire's current trajectory, authorities are hoping to steer the fire away from the Peribonka Hydro-Quebec station that serves nearly 85,000 people in the region.

The fire was suspected to be caused by recreation activity north of Saguenay. With hot, dry and windy conditions likely to persist into Monday, SOPFEU has issued a ban on open fires for much of Quebec.

Such conditions will also make it challenging to contain the current blaze.

The ongoing heat wave has produced temperatures about 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit above normal along with increasingly humid conditions.