Number of Quebec wildfires rises to 164, at least 114 out of control

164 fires across Quebec

The Quebec government says there are 164 wildfires burning across the province, including at least 114 that are out of control.

Kateri Champagne Jourdain, the minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region, told reporters in Sept-Îles, Que., that the fires in her region northeast of Quebec City are unprecedented.

One of the two fires threatening Sept-Îles is just six or seven kilometres from the city.

Champagne Jourdain says 138 Canadian Armed Forces soldiers arrived in the area Sunday, with another 100 expected today, adding that the troops have received training so that they can support the province's wilderness firefighters.

Sept-Îles Mayor Steeve Beaupré says he's hopeful the fire nearest to the city will be brought under control within the next few days, while the other is moving away from town — though he warns the situation could change rapidly.

He says evacuation orders in parts of the city, where 4,500 people have been forced from their homes, remain in place and that people are encouraged to avoid going outside due to the heavy smoke.

A smog warning is in effect over large swaths of Quebec, including in Montreal, due to smoke from the forest fires.

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