Maine Forest Service Sends Crew to Quebec 

As many as 15 uncontrolled forest fires are raging in Quebec.An Indian Reservation has already been forced to evacuate because of the fires, and more evacuations are possible.Crews are being brought in to help fight the massive fires.A crew from Maine left Bangor this morning to lend a hand. “Tuesday evening they had a series of severe thunderstorms come through and lightning ignited quite a few large fires. They have one that’s 10,000 hectares right now, which is about 25 thousand acres.” Says Sam Heffner, a Forest Ranger with the Maine Forest Service. Heffner says the call came in Wednesday night. They were asked to assemble a crew to head up to La Tuque in Quebec to help battle the massive wildfires. “We’ll be assisting SOPFEU however we can. We’ll probably be assigned a specific fire or a specific part of the fire.”A 21 person crew from Maine has been mobilized, it’s made up of six Forest Rangers and trained civilians.”Everybody’s been trained in basic firefighting class. How to create a fire line to stop a fire, how to use water on a fire, digging with tools, that sort of thing.” Says Aliesha Black, a Forest Ranger. Heffner adds, “We’ll be using motorized water pumps, hoses and hand tools to put out the fire with the assistance of CL215’s, they’re large water tankers, fixed wind water tankers.”Black says the recent weather has created a lot of dry land.”A lot of where we’ve fought fires in the past has been Caribou moss and a lot of spruce trees, which tend to create a lot of fire when they’re dry, and they’ve had the same weather conditions we’ve had.”The crew wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when they arrive in Quebec, but they are excited about going.”It’s a lot of fun. I’ve been up to Quebec this will be my third trip to Quebec. It’s always a fun time, the comradery of the crew is a lot of fun.” Says Heffner.Black adds, “It’s exciting, it’s a lot of fun.”