Port-Cartier forest fires

The City of Port-Cartier and Sopfeu provided an update this morning regarding the out-of-control fires that caused the evacuation of residents north of Route 138. The situation has not changed since yesterday evening. “There will be advance notice if other evacuations are necessary,” assures emergency measures coordinator and general manager of the municipality Nicolas Mayrand.

Mayor Alain Thibault described the situation experienced since noon yesterday. “We were efficient! It happened quickly,” he summarizes.

The wire of the blaze

The Sopfeu spokesperson explained the sequence of events. The Protection Society was informed of the appearance of a new fire 17 km north of the Penitentiary around noon on Friday June 21. It was in addition to another out-of-control fire at Walker Lake. The fire traveled quickly yesterday afternoon and was 7 miles from the prison by late afternoon. The new fire was not accessible without aerial support.

Sopfeu has a team of 20 forest firefighters on site this morning. Firefighters from neighboring towns and police helped evacuate approximately 1,000 citizens of Port-Cartier yesterday before 9 p.m.

Fire department personnel are being called upon this Saturday to protect critical equipment such as telecommunications sites. The authorities are asking the population to avoid going into the forest, but above all to respect the bans on open fires which are currently in force.

Finally, from the CISSS de la Côte-Nord side, it is specified that teams will be on the ground to provide help and referral to psychosocial services if necessary. Preventive evacuations are also planned for more at-risk clients from the CHSLD de Port-Cartier. These people will be transported to Baie-Comeau. Immediate families will be kept informed of the situation, but it is possible to contact an information line at 418 766-2572, ext. 443212.

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