Nearly all of Quebec in high fire risk after hot, dry start to June

Most of the province of Quebec is under high or extreme fire risk conditions as its first heat wave of the season is underway

Quebec is on high alert for forest fires this week as the province endures a period of hot and dry conditions.

What is responsible for the increased forest fire threat?

An atmospheric trough stationed in the Maritime provinces, which blocked moisture from reaching Quebec. The lack of moisture for the vegetation and abnormally dry soil has increased the danger of forest fires.

CANADA'S WILDFIRES: Visit The Weather Network's wildfire hub to keep up with the latest on the active start to wildfire season across Canada.

Upcoming pattern change Canada

In addition, ample sun and southerly warmth has recorded temperatures 5°C to 15°C above normal across the province to start June.

The hot temperatures have been felt as far away as Hudson Bay, and as far north as Kuujjuaq, Que., with an exceptional 25°C felt on June 5t.

Temperatures soared into the 30s across the south, too, with Montreal airport recording 31.4°C on June 4.

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Quebec June temperatures

On Tuesday, Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) said there is a maximum risk of forest fires nearly everywhere in the province. Vigilance will be needed in the coming days.

People have been reminded to be careful of how cigarette butts are discarded, as well as proper incineration of waste, which could easily start fires.

Quebec fire danger ratings_June 5

As a result of the forest fire risk, a ban on open fires was issued on June 4 for an indefinite period.

The restriction zone in place covers all locales in northern Quebec, including Nord-du-Québec, Côte-Nord, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, northern Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Bas- Saint-Laurent and the southern portion of Gaspésie.

People have to remember that following the heat, there will be a risk of thunderstorms in the second half of the week, with possible lightning strikes potentially making the situation even worse.

Quebec rainfall through Sunday_June 5

But, there will be an inundation of rainfall, which will help alleviate the fire risk in the southern half of the province. A prolonged, unsettled pattern could see parts of Quebec on the receiving end of 100 mm of rain this week.

Editor's note: The article was originally written in French and translated to English by The Weather Network.

With files from Rachel Modestino and Laura Power, meteorologists at The Weather Network, and Nathan Howes, a digital writer at The Weather Network.