June 1, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

Complete Canadian News World

Ruined vacations: Quebecers stranded at airport due to forest fires

Quebecers hoping to take advantage of Honduras’ beautiful tropical temperatures found their vacation ruined by forest fires that ravaged part of the country, while a thick cloud of smoke prevented planes from landing for days.

“We were so excited about our father-daughter trip to Roatan. It was the last week of vacation before my daughter’s internship started. There, it was completely screwed up,” laments Bernard Legros, stuck in Miami.

The two, who live in Vaudreuil-Dorion, were scheduled to land in Honduras on an American Airlines flight Friday morning. However, less than twenty minutes before landing, the flight was diverted to Belize due to severe weather.

“We didn’t know what was going on. We were stuck in Belize for six hours. There was a lot of smoke outside. This is where we learned about the forest fires that are now affecting the continent,” says Mr. Legros.

Unable to land in Honduras, the flight was diverted to Miami, where dozens of passengers are still stranded.

“Some have told me they have been waiting since Wednesday,” said the sixty-year-old, who was surprised the airline had agreed to carry other flights.

Lamps of “intense” power

said two Quebecers living in Roatan, Honduras Register Never seen anything like it.

“What’s happening now on the continent is truly exceptional. It’s usually a time when the sugar cane crops are dead. There, the wind and drought have ruined it,” explains Cayden Marsolais, who has been offering tourists “all-inclusive” boat trips for 10 years.

“The last time in 2020 there was a lot of smoke coming from the mainland in Roatan, but it wasn’t that intense,” recalls Jerome Guillot, another resident of the island.

On Saturday afternoon, NASA satellite images showed thick smoke in the air over Honduras. The smoke is believed to come from numerous fires set intentionally to prepare land for harvest in South America.

In mid-April, wildfires spread south of the Honduran capital.


In mid-April, wildfires spread south of the Honduran capital.

However, due to the severe drought, the fires have spread enough to cause smoke plumes to prevent planes from landing.

No solutions

For now, passengers stranded in Miami are still waiting for a flight to Roatan on Sunday. Some passengers have decided to return home and get a refund for their canceled flight.

In mid-April, wildfires spread south of the Honduran capital.


In mid-April, wildfires spread south of the Honduran capital.

“We can’t wait any longer, we have to bear all the expenses while we wait to get out of here. We’re going back to Montreal with $5,000 in the trash,” laments Bernard Legros.

Overnight rain is expected over the mainland from Saturday into Sunday, which will reduce the amount of smoke in the air and suppress numerous wildfires. Other flights from Miami to Roatan are scheduled for Sunday afternoon.