Wildfires are destroying Quebec's boreal forest, but what is the cause?

Alexa Lavoie visited Mistissini, a Cree town in northern Quebec, to see what the locals think about Premier Francois Legault's recommendation to evacuate, and the cause of the fires.

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Since June 1, the province of Quebec has been facing a significant disaster. This year's wildfires are unprecedented.

Quebec has already witnessed the scorching of 740,000 hectares of boreal forest, which is more than 300 times the average during the spring season over the past decade, according to the Guardian.

Within 72 hours, SOPFEUa forest fire protection agency based in Quebec, recorded 95 new fires. The number continues to rise, resulting in the evacuation of numerous communities and villages.

One of them is the Cree community located in Mistissini, a small village in northern Quebec with a population of about 4,500.

Like many others, Mistissini has experienced several devastating fires that have left lasting scars on the collective memory of its residents. Rebuilding and resilience have required significant efforts.

Throughout history, Quebec has faced numerous major wildfires in the northern part of the province.

According to community members, the fires that have had a profound impact on citizens include those from 1996 and 2006, in addition to the current ones.

This time, according to SOPFEU, the blaze raging near the Cree community of Mistissini has merged with three other fires.

In response to the wildfire, Quebec's Premier François Legault has requested nearby villages to evacuate.

However, according to an article published by Le Journal de Montréal, Chief Michael Petawabano of the community has refused to do so.

Petawanabo says he had a call with a different civil security agency recommending evacuation. “When Legault came on, it almost came out around the same time. We didn't know where the information was coming from. As I had mentioned to you, we were working very closely with SOPFEU, you know, every day.” Chief Petawabano told Rebel News. "Nobody knew where the recommendation was coming from. It wasn't coming from here."

"It kind of created chaos for our community... I immediately went on the air and reassured people that we are the authority here, we make the decisions here, we're working with SOPFEU and not to worry about that."

Rebel News also gathered the perspective from other members of the Cree community on what caused these wildfires.

“Oh, global warming. There's your answer,” answered a member of the Cree community. “We had the thunder last week, so as far as we know that's what caused the fire to start rapidly and on top of that, we haven't had any rain probably for a month now,” mentioned another.

“Not enough rain, it's too dry,” added other residents.

To support reporting like this, bringing you another perspective of the reality on the ground near Quebec's wildfires, please consider making a donation at RebelFieldReports.com.

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