La Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) saw a slightly busier September than they are used to. Over the course of the last month, 37 fires burnt 3.7 hectares of forest in the special protection zone, with the majority in the west of the province. Though the amount burned was lower than the 10 year average of 6.6 hectares, the number of fires was nearly double the median of 19.8.
In a statement, SOPFEU noted that in the fall, recreation activities in the forest are very popular, and are responsible for 70% of the incidents during September. Poorly extinguished campfires alone caused 17 fires.
Since the start of the 2021 season, SOPFEU has intervened in 581 fires in the protection zone, which burned 8,030.2 hectares, compared to the 10 year average of 428 fires over an area of 18,356.9 hectares. Though the summer heat is over, with hunters, ATVers and cottagers traversing the woods at this time of year, the risk of man-made forest fires is still present. SOPFEU urges caution when dealing with things like campfires, cooking appliances, heating systems and cigarettes.