Quebec Fires: 52 Forest Fires Burning, Smog Warning Issued: Video
Currently 52 Forest Fires Are Burning in Quebec and a Smog Warning Has Been Issued
Eight of the 52 forest fires are burning out of control according to the Montreal Gazette, and smoke is visible in the sky around Montreal this Monday morning.
According to the city's air quality monitoring alerts the areas of Ste. Anne de Vellevue and parts of downtown currently have the worst air quality due to smoke and smog, with readings over 50.
The forest fires are in northern Quebec and they have already forced the evacuation of about 2,500 people, but no villages in the region are currently at risk reports the Gazette.
Due to the heavy smoke and smog in the air however, residents are advised to keep their windows closed and to protect their lungs if they have respiratory problems such as asthma. Visibility for motorists should not be affected, but residents should exercise extra caution when driving on Monday.
At this time residents are asked to stop calling the forest fire protection line (SOPFEU) unless there is a dire emergency as officials know about the fires and smoke already and the high volume of calls is jamming up the lines.
According to SOPFEU, 83,000 hectares have been affected by the fires so far.
A smog warning has been issued for the following areas:
Abitibi, Témiscamingue, Gatineau, Upper Gatineau - Lièvre - Papineau, Metro Montréal - Laval, Vaudreuil - Soulanges - Huntingdon, Richelieu Valley - Saint-Hyacinthe, Lachute - Saint-Jérôme, Lanaudière, Laurentians, Mauricie, Drummondville - Bois-Francs, Eastern Townships, Mont-Laurier.
The smoke is so dense in some areas that it has even reached upstate New York as this video below shows: