Quebec north shore city declares state of emergency as forest fires multiply

MONTREAL – A city on Quebec’s north shore has declared a state of emergency as forest fires rage in the vicinity.

Sept-Îles Mayor Steeve Beaupré says certain sectors of the city have been ordered to evacuate by 4 p.m. today as a preventive measure, with an emergency shelter set up in nearby Port-Cartier.

Earlier this week, another out of control forest fire in northern Quebec forced the evacuation of about 500 homes in Chapais, east of Chibougamau.

Chapais Mayor Isabelle Lessard said today would be decisive in determining whether residents can return home, and she warned that even without visible signs of fire, there can still be danger.

Public Security Minister François Bonnardel says there are 107 forest fires active in the province, with about 20 deemed priorities to protect homes and infrastructure.

Bonnardel says about 10,000 people are affected by the evacuation order on Quebec’s north shore and 1,000 in Chapais.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2023.


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