Quebec likely to avoid flooding, forest fires remain a concern


Everything suggests that Quebec will be spared from flooding this spring, despite the heavy snowfall still present in several regions.

However, weather conditions are of concern when it comes to wildfires.

The absence of prolonged heavy rains and cool nights in recent weeks has allowed southern Quebec to avoid major flooding.

As for the eastern part of the province, where snow cover remains high, civil security authorities explained in an email to The Canadian Press that “snowmelt alone will have a limited impact in terms of flooding. To have a significant impact, a lot of rain would have to be added.”

Environment Canada says no significant precipitation is expected in the near term, other than light showers on Tuesday. After that, hot and dry weather is expected for the rest of the week. Despite the possibility of a little rain next weekend, no significant quantity is forecast for all of Quebec.

This means that there is not much to fear, even in regions that civil security has placed “under surveillance due to heavy snowfall”.

The regions concerned are Mauricie (for the Saint-Maurice River), Capitale-Nationale (for rivers that have their source in the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve and in Charlevoix), Saguenay, Côte-Nord and Gaspésie.

So far, civil security reports only three minor floods across Quebec, at Lake Maskinongé, at Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon in Lanaudière, at the Croche River on the borders of Mauricie and Saguenay-Lac-Saint- Jean and the Harricana River near Amos in Abitibi. .

Last year, southern Quebec was hit by a major drought in late spring, following two consecutive years of major flooding in 2019 and 2020.

However, if this situation is reassuring for floods, it is quite different for forest fires.

The Ministry of Forests, Parks and Wildlife has issued a ban on open fires in or near forests in the regions of Montreal, Laval, Montérégie, Estrie, Mauricie, Chaudière-Appalaches, Laurentides, Outaouais, Lanaudière, Centre-du-Québec, Capitale-Nationale, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Two wildfires are active; an eight-hectare blaze is burning in the MRC of Antoine-Labelle in the Laurentians, and one of just under one hectare in the MRC of Matawinie in the Laurentians. Both fires are under control.

Since the start of the season, SOPFEU has reported 69 forest fires that have affected 73.5 hectares, compared to the ten-year average of 81 fires for an area of ​​58.8 hectares.

— This report from The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 7, 2022.


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