Parks Canada and Saskatchewan lend Quebec a hand to fight forest fires

File photo. CP Images

The Society for Protection Against Forest Fires (SOPFEU), in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Wildlife and Parks, has been sent support from the Province of Saskatchewan and Parks Canada to battle forest fires in Quebec.

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The additional loans brought the total number of firefighters to 205 brought to Quebec from across Canada and northeastern U.S. They join the 400 SOPFEU firefighters combatting forest fires throughout the province.

The reinforcement was deployed to fight active fires as well as help prevent ignition due to seasonal storm conditions.

At the time of report, there were 61 forest fires in Quebec, 31 of which were in intensive protection zones. Fires sparked by lightning can smolder for several days and may only be found later on.

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The arrival of Parks Canada and Saskatchewan firefighters allowed SOPFEU to cope with the significant increase in their workload.

“In recent years, SOPFEU and its staff have supported other Canadian provinces and U.S. states on multforeiple occasions,” stated SOPFEU via a release.

A spokesperson for the fire protection service says there have been 357 fires in the province so far this year, up from an average of 276.

Quebec is a member of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), which allows it to borrow resources from other provinces and territories in time of need.

The province is also a a member of the Northeastern Interagency Coordination Center (NFFPC), a joint agreement between Northeastern States and Eastern Canadian provinces.

— with files from SOPFEU and The Canadian Press

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