The sound of a water bomber plane flying overhead was enough to make Cory Giroux leave his house and rush outside.

“I don’t know how much a garden hose could do but I was ready to spray the house if I had to,” said Giroux.

His fears quickly quelled as officials with Quebec’s forest protection agency assured residents there homes were not at risk.

Still, about an hour and 20 minutes outside of Ottawa in the Pontiac alone, there were three raging brush fires Wednesday afternoon.

Pontiac Brush Fires

  • near Otter Lake – 0.3 hectares in size
  • near Lac Dumont – 2.2 hectares in size
  • Alleyn and Cawood – 15 hectares in size

The largest one, near Danford Lake in the municipality of Alleyn and Cawood, is about 30 times the size of an American football field. The blaze was so big, backup fire crews needed to be called in from about half a dozen nearby towns.

Forest ranger Michael Lapratt said the fire was started by a fisherman who was attempting to cook his catch around 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

The three in the Pontiac Wednesday were just the latest in a series of forest fires plaguing the province.

Quebec usually deals with about 90 forest fires around this time of year. This year they have exceeded that number having battled more than 160 to date.

The high numbers have sparked provincial authorities to issue a ban on open fires for an undetermined amount of time.

With a report from CTV’s Stefan Keyes