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Quebec wildfire: Lebel-sur-Quévillon citizens return, but remain on evacuation alert

MONTREAL — Authorities have reopened the road into Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Que., and residents will come home as planned today, but the mayor is warning locals the return could be short-lived due to the massive wildfire burning nearby.

The roughly 2,000 residents of the northern Quebec community are still expected to return today as planned despite the fact the fire that forced them from their homes has flared up again.

Mayor Guy Lafrenière says in a video message that a fire south of the community has fused with five others and there are record high temperatures expected this week with no rain forecast until June 25.

Lafrenière says officials decided that residents could come home, but urged those who do to be ready to leave quickly if needed and advised other evacuees who can stay away to do so.

The community was the last one in Quebec under a full evacuation order due to an exceptional wildfire situation this year, and a civil security official says today that while the town isn’t under immediate threat, residents who were forced to flee quickly on June 2 will have more time to prepare if they need to leave again.

Schools in the community, 620 kilometres northwest of Montreal, will not reopen this week for the end of the academic year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2023.

The Canadian Press


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