October 4, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Forest fires: Quebec asks Canadian Armed Forces for help

Forest fires: Quebec asks Canadian Armed Forces for help

The Government of Quebec is requesting the assistance of the Canadian Armed Forces to fight forest fires spreading across the province of Quebec.

In addition to repatriating all its personnel, the government has the support of the armed forces and has sought help from abroad. “We have called allies who have agreements, especially the United States, Mexico, Portugal. We are waiting for comments from them,” said Maïté Blanchette Vézina, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

For its part, the federal government assures Quebec has a “robust” system to fight forest fires, but says it is ready to help if the situation gets out of hand, even if it asks for help from abroad.

“It’s still in interim mode at this stage,” Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said on Friday.

“We don’t have a situation that will exceed Quebec’s ability to respond, but we expect. We have to be prepared if it gets serious.”

Minister Blair indicated late in the afternoon that he had been in contact with Minister François Bonnardel.

“We have received a request for federal assistance and we are working to identify appropriate federal resources.”

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