Rivière-Ouelle, qc: the fire of bog content, but still worrying

Rivière-Ouelle: l'incendie de tourbière contenu, mais toujours inquiétant

Rivière-Ouelle: l'incendie de tourbière contenu, mais toujours inquiétant

According to SOPFEU, the fire of bog Rivière-Ouelle is now content.

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June 21, 2020 13.14

Updated at 19h39

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Rivière-Ouelle, qc: the fire of bog content, but still worrying

Rivière-Ouelle: l'incendie de tourbière contenu, mais toujours inquiétant

Rivière-Ouelle: l'incendie de tourbière contenu, mais toujours inquiétant

Johanne Fournier

Special Collaboration

The fire raging since Friday, the peat Bogs Lambert Rivière-Ouelle, the Kamouraska, is now content, but the situation is still worrying. The area has already reached 326,7 hectares of forest, equivalent to 458 football pitches

“We see, mentions the prefect of Kamouraska, Yvon Soucy. The situation is not at all the same as yesterday in terms of visibility and smoke. People are encouraged compared to yesterday.”

On the other hand, the fear that the winds get stronger persists. “We could have gusts that could be up to 40 km/h, considers the elected. Therefore, there is a chance that the fire will resume a bit of force and that the smoke may again affect the area of Saint-Pacôme and a bit of La Pocatière, like yesterday. I notified the mayors of these municipalities there. Anyway, they are already on high alert.”

Solidarity in the struggle

The Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) was back early Sunday morning with 21 firefighters forest and a helicopter that makes targeted interventions. In addition, a quarantine of city’s emergency crews from five fire services in the Kamouraska and thirty farmers equipped with tanks are fighting against the destructive element on the side of the bog. “It continues and it is more encouraging than yesterday,” Yvon Soucy.

If the situation is more encouraging than the day before, it remains a concern. “It may be that, in a few days, this is controlled on and off, wants to Mr. Soucy. But this time, it is a little uncertainty. It is for this reason that the firefighters are working hard. That night, the one who was in the operations spoke of a hard work. They have made really big job. They enjoyed it, there was no wind. The ground teams have been working really hard to try to take control over the situation as possible.”

Hundred evacuated

At the end of the day Saturday, evacuations have been ordered in Rivière-Ouelle, in the area located near Saint-Pacôme. In total, a hundred people and forty of residences had to be evacuated. Even if the intensity of the smoke is less, the municipality does not allow its citizens to reintegrate back into their home. “They’re going to wait to see what will happen with the winds before doing re-entries, specifies the prefect Soucy. Throughout the day on Saturday, the municipality of Saint-Pacôme, a neighboring municipality, was held on high alert. “They went door-to-door to tell the citizens that it could be that they are forced to evacuate, but they have not done so,” says the elected official.

No infrastructure has been affected by the fire. “Yesterday morning, we feared a little for some of the buildings of the bog and the wind had changed aboard, specifies Mr. Soucy. There was a small public health issue because there are people who were inconvenienced. It was more the anxiety of the inconvenience.”

Highway closed

Saturday at the end of the day, the disaster represented a threat to highway 20, of which the western section was closed. “It was because the fire was approaching the highway 20 and because the aircraft wanted to sprinkle more on the edge of the road,” says Yvon Soucy. The highway was reopened to traffic Sunday morning.

But, the return of the tankers of the SOPFEU over the lunch hour on Sunday has forced the authorities to close down new hwy 20 west between Saint-Philippe-de-Neri and La Pocatière to ensure interventions are safe. The traffic is diverted to route 132.

The member for Côte-du-Sud and minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Marie-Eve Proulx, landed at Rivière-Ouelle on the end of the before-noon Sunday. “I have organized a small tour,” said the prefect.

Le Soleil

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