Sectors of Port-Cartier, on the North Shore, were evacuated due to fires

Sectors of Port-Cartier, on the North Shore, were evacuated due to fires
Sectors of Port-Cartier, on the North Shore, were evacuated due to fires

Forest fires forced the town of Port-Cartier, on the North Shore, to carry out evacuations.

Residents of the Brunel Park and Dominique Park areas and those residing north of Route 138 were advised that they had to evacuate their homes Friday evening.

The evacuation notice concerns approximately 1,000 citizens, according to what the Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel, mentioned on the social network X.

The city of Port-Cartier indicated on its Facebook page that a temporary accommodation center was set up in Baie-Comeau, approximately two hours by car, to accommodate these people.

A shuttle network was also offered for residents until 10 p.m. “We are aware of the concern that a situation like this can create. In this sense, we ask you to remain calm and move carefully,” we can read on the social network.

Philippe Bergeron, prevention and communications officer for the Society for the Protection of Forests Against Fire (SOPFEU), specified Friday evening that four forest fires were still out of control in the region, including the one at a distance of approximately 15 kilometers north of Port-Cartier, which led to the evacuations. Fire 221 had an area of ​​more than 900 hectares as of Friday evening.

Earlier in the day, SOPFEU reported that a line of lightning had ignited seven fires Thursday north of Port-Cartier to the north of Sept-Îles. “We contained these fires quite quickly, but in the afternoon (Friday) the fires regained strength and in a more aggressive manner, and we discovered others,” said Mr. Bergeron.

He said the fire was growing and the weather forecast was not in favor of forest firefighters at the moment. “We had a lot of wind, a lot of heat and we don’t expect any rain for a while,” he said. “We are really dependent on the conditions for the day (Saturday) to see how things will go.”

He said air tankers and fire crews on the ground were present Friday to fight the fires, but that some activities were reduced in the afternoon as the planes lost their effectiveness in the face of the intensity of the fires.

The teams will be there very early Saturday when the fire behavior is likely to be less intense, he added.

Philippe Bergeron recalls that a ban on making open fires in the forest is in force on the North Shore and in Gaspésie. “Fire dangers will remain extreme during the weekend,” he warns.

On Friday, nine forest fires were active in the province, including three out of control, all located in the MRC of Sept-Rivières on the North Shore.

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