Eeyou Eenou Police Force Report on Forest Fire

James Bay Highway - photo by Maxime Duperre Forest Fire
James Bay Highway - photo by Maxime Duperre

WEMINDJII, Quebec – The James Bay Highway remains partially closed from km 275 to km 518. The road will remain closed for the entire day. Road blocks are still set up by the SQ at both extremities of the closed section on JBH.

As of yesterday, the SDBJ and the Nemaska Safety Department issued a public notice that the Route du Nord has been closed and sofar it remains closed today. As of yesterday, the SDBJ issued a public notice that the Trans-Taiga Road, leading LG-3, LG-4, has been closed from km 40 to km 94 and remains closed today.

Word about km 381 being completely burnt down by the forest fires have been circulating among the public. At this time, this is merely a rumour. SDBJ will be sending a crew on-site by helicopter to determine whether km 381 had actually suffered any damage from the forest fires. This will be confirmed later on today.

With regards to the Eastmain Fire, Parks Canada had commenced using prescribed fires yesterday. A prescribed fire is an intentional fire carefully planned and managed by fire specialists. The goal is to contain fire spread and limit the boundaries of the forest fire. This is the most effective strategy at this time when water bombers are absent. Progress has been made; however, the forest fire continues to burn.

Yesterday evening around 10:30 p.m., a forest fire was spotted along the Wemindji Access Road near km 18. The Wemindji Fire Department was sent up the road to monitor and assess the forest fires. By 1:30 a.m., the Wemindji Fire Department reported having observed 5 different fires, some located on the south-side of the road and others on the north-side. At this time, these forest fires pose no threat to the community.

James Bay Highway - photo by Maxime Duperre Forest Fire
James Bay Highway – photo by Maxime Duperre

As a precautionary measure, during the night, the Department of the Eeyou Eenou Police Force had set up a temporary road block at the entrance of the community of Wemindji; however, this road block has now been taking down. As previously mentioned, it was reported that the fire does not pose any threat to to the community of Wemindji nor does it pose a threat to the Wemindji Access Road at this time. The Wemindji Fire Department continues to monitor these forest fires.

Finally, we would like to inform the public to remain calm and that it is still preferable to stay put. Also, we urge the people to comply with the instructions provided by public authorities. Precautionary measures are put in place for your own safety and security.

More updates will be conveyed to the public as they become available.

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