Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

According to SOPFEU, lightning is responsible for 99.9% of the forest areas burned this summer in Quebec.

Conviction of arsonist revives misinformation about forest fires

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This forest fire which raged in Chapais on June 1st was caused by Brian Paré.

  • Nicholas De Rosa (View profile)Nicholas De Rosa

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

“Climate change apparently has another name, and that name is Brian Paré”: this is how a post shared more than 8,000 times and liked more than 17,000 times since Monday on social network min-width: 0)”>

The author of this message was referring to the man who pleaded guilty to 14 counts in connection with numerous forest fires he started last summer near the towns of Chibougamau and Chapais, in Northern Quebec.

She is far from being the only Internet user to use this case to deny that the fires that wreaked havoc in Canada last summer were linked to arsonists and not to climate change, a statement that does not stand up to scrutiny. test of the facts.

One ​​of the fires lit by Mr. Paré had devastating consequences: according to information from theJournal de Montréal (New window), a fire he caused on May 31 burned more than 870 hectares of forest, forcing more than half of Chapais residents to evacuate their homes.< /p>

However, according to the annual report of the Society for the Protection of Forests against Fire (SOPFEU) (New window), 564 fires consumed more than 1.1 million hectares of forest in intensive protection zones. Taking into account the 3.4 million hectares burned in Nord-du-Québec, it is estimated that more than 4.5 million hectares will have been devastated in 2023 in Quebec, an area higher than the sum of the last 20 years.

SOPFEU notes that lightning – and not arsonists like Brian Paré – is responsible for 99.9% of the damage. 2023 is a year in which we have never seen the ground so receptive to lightning. Lightning still strikes, but usually the humidity is higher. It was very dry, so it was really something exceptional, explains Josée Poitras, prevention and communications officer at SOPFEU.

Before, we were hesitant to say that climate change was the main cause of fires because there are sometimes droughts, but this year, with the climatic upheavals that we have experienced, we have seen communities struggling with wildfires. forest which were affected by flooding the previous week, illustrates Ms. Poitras.

Fires of human cause, caused for example by a cigarette or a poorly extinguished campfire, are not those which have burned large areas, according to the SOPFEU spokesperson.

Brian Paré was arrested in September (New window) in connection with the forest fires he caused.

These had been considered suspicious since last summer (New window) and already at the time fueled speeches that tried to minimize the link between climate change and forest fires.

Ironically, the convicted arsonist earlier this week increased the number of posts on his Facebook page accusing the government of starting the forest fires and denying the existence of the changes climate change.

OUR GOVERNMENT AND ELITE WANT ITS BURNING NOT COMPLICATED SINCE 2020 WE ARE IN A PLOT OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER OF 2030 LIGHT ON BECAUSE THE TIME HAS BECOME SERIOUS (sic), he wrote on June 25.

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