Fire risks worry at Bois Beckett in Sherbrooke

The risk of forest fire at Bois Beckett in Sherbrooke worries users of the woodland.

Several hikers report seeing traces of campfires on a trail, which are nevertheless prohibited in the park. Sherbrooke resident Marie Saint-Pierre, who lives very close to Beckett Woods, is one of those who saw traces of burnt wood near a track last week. An alarming situation, according to her.

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Traces of a campfire were found by hikers.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pierrick Pichette

When you see that in the Beckett woods, you tell yourself that it’s a small wood, it doesn’t take much for everything to go up in flames.

A quote from Marie Saint-Pierre, citizen of Sherbrooke

Sherbrooke resident Madone Bujold is also concerned about the fire risks associated with these illegal campfires.

The consequences are incredible. There is wood, then dead wood too, it takes quickly she worries.

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Campfires are not permitted at Beckett Woods.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pierrick Pichette

More awareness and prevention needed

While the risk of forest fires is at its highest in spring, the members of the Beckett Wood Regroupement wish to work with the City to increase awareness and prevention.

For example, can we increase the number of patrols? I think that can reassure citizens. All these dead trees are fuel, they are accelerant for the fires. You can imagine that if the fire comes to the forest, it could be quite rapid and dramatic explains Mario Deslongchamps, president of the board of directors of the Regroupement du bois Beckett.

>>The man looks at the journalist.>>

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Martin Deslongchamps calls for greater awareness among woodland users.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pierrick Pichette

The Beckett Wood Regroupment members believe that it is in the most rustic section of the woodland that the problem is most glaring. A master plan to mark the area was recently submitted to the City. The Regroupement hopes for a response by next month.

SOPFEU issues a warning

The Fire Protection Society ( SOPFEU) reminds for its part that the risk of forest fires is at its highest in spring.

>>A burned log in the grass and leaves.>>

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Remains of burned wood are present in several places in Beckett Wood.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pierrick Pichette

Since campfires and cigarette butts can cause forest fires, the SOPFEU recommends that smokers be doubly vigilant.

On the ground, there are a lot of very flammable materials, like twigs, dead leaves from the last season, wilted grass, things like that, so even if it rained two days before, it takes a few hours to sunshine, a little wind and everything becomes extremely flammable warns Karine Pelletier, spokesperson for the SOPFEU.

According to the City of Sherbrooke, firefighters have had to intervene three times in Beckett Woods since 2019 and nearly thirty times in the surrounding area.

There SOFPEU indicates, for its part, that approximately of forest fires per year originate from a campfire”,”text”:”60 forest fires per year originate from a campfire”}}”>60 forest fires per year originate from campfires .

With information from Pierrick Pichette

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