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A Québec SOPFEU CL-415 water bomber dropping water on the site of a forest fire by Route 148 in Calumet on April 29, 2020. Photo: James Morgan.

Water bombers help put out forest fire in Calumet

An illegal, backyard campfire turned into a forest fire in Calumet late on Tuesday afternoon.

According to Grenville-sur-la Rouge Fire Chief Marc Montpetit, the fire started small behind a house on Route 148 but grew out of control.

Montpetit called SOPFEU, Québec’s forest fire protection agency for assistance.  Two SOPFEU, CL-415 water bomber aircraft collected water from the nearby Ottawa River and dropped it on the forest fire.

In addition to SOPFEU and firefighters from Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, firefighters from Grenville village and Harrington also assisted.

There was no damage to any homes, but the flames reached the edges of a couple of yards along Route 148.

The fire was mostly extinguished by approximately 6 p.m. on Wednesday.  The two aircraft, along with the firefighters on the ground with hoses, kept applying water to ensure there were no flare ups.

Any fines issued for the fire will be up for SOPFEU to decide, said Montpetit.

Montpetit noted that all open fires are prohibited in Québec right now due to COVID-19 emergency restrictions.

The Calumet forest fire was one of three major blazes in the MRC d’Argenteuil on Wednesday.  Other significant fires occurred in Lachute and Brownsburg-Chatham.

Click below to see video of the water bombers in action at the forest fire in Calumet:

SOPFEU CL-415 aircraft dropping water on Calumet forest fire. Photo: James Morgan
The fire reached the edges of residential properties along Route 148. Photo: James Morgan

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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