Thousands of hectares of forest are still burning out of control near a small aboriginal community on James Bay in northern Quebec.
“It’s total destruction, down to the topsoil. Even the roots of (the) trees, they’re gone. Forget about it,” said Johnny Tomatuk, deputy chief of the Cree community in Eastmain.
By Friday, the fire had burned through an area of about 300,000 hectares, about six times the size of the island of Montreal.
“It all generated about four kilometres away from our backyard and just took off eastward, where the wind was pushing it,” he said.
The area hasn’t had any rain in over 60 days, Tomatuk said, leaving plenty of dry fuel for the fire.
Strong winds are now blowing the smoke away from the town, allowing firefighters to work more effectively, Eastmain chief Edward Gilpin explained on Friday.