La Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) has observed a HIGH fire danger index for Tuesday and Wednesday, in effect in all southern Quebec regions, including the MRC Pontiac.
Bans on open fires
SOPFEU invites municipalities to consider suspending domestic fire permits across the territory. Several have already informed their residents of a ban on any type of open fire due to COVID-19, as well as the cancellation of fire permits.
An example is Mansfield-et-Pontefract, who are hoping to limit non-essential calls and to guarantee the availability and good health of the volunteer firefighters in the event of an emergency.
As for the SOPFEU, on April 1 it announced that it was suspending controlled fire permits throughout Quebec, save for certain exceptions related to operational obligations, due to COVID-19.
The purpose of this suspension is to preserve the operational capacities of its forestry fire departments by minimizing the risk of forest fires. In this way, the SOPFEU wishes to protect its forest firefighters and avoid excessive pressure on the suppression operations.
“Since SOPFEU is an essential service, [...] it is imperative to protect its intervention capacity so that it is able to meet its intervention priorities.” - press release.
Remember that a controlled fires are done in or near the forest and aims to destroy any wood materials that have fallen or have been cut during deforestation for industrial or lucrative purposes. In the case of controlled burning, a permit must be issued by SOPFEU.