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Out-of-control wildfires still burn in Quebec

 A bright pink sun and sky hang over blue hills in the background. The yellow petals of black-eyed susans are in the foreground, and in the middle of the image is a house in a green field next to an RV.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public File
Smoke from wildfires in Quebec returned to Vermont on Monday, July 17, 2023, as seen from Route 100 in Lowell.

Over the weekend, smog covered Quebec, but that’s cleared in recent days.

“Some days you wake up and there is a thick cloud of smoke, a haze and almost a yellowish feel to the air, but that hasn’t been the case for a while,” said CBC journalist Ben Shingler.

Right now, over 50 fires are still burning in Quebec during a wildfire season that has produced a record-setting amount of carbon emissions. “Some of them are enormous — it’s just staggering the scale,” Shingler said. “They’re not able to put them out. They’re just kind of going.”

For fire managers, the goal is to protect human lives. Indigenous communities have been particularly hard hit, like alarge Cree territory in Quebec.

“In many cases they’ve been forced to evacuate their communities, not just once, not just twice, but several times,” Shingler said.

The other priority is infrastructure — like hydroelectric dams and electrical wires that run from north to south.

Shingler added that right now, there are over 400 active fires in British Columbia.

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Lexi covers science and health stories for Vermont Public.
Mikaela Lefrak is the host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Andrea Laurion joined Vermont Public as a news producer for Vermont Edition in December 2022. She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. Before getting into audio, Andrea worked as an obituary writer, a lunch lady, a wedding photographer assistant, a children’s birthday party hostess, a haunted house actor, and an admin assistant many times over.