Getting around during fires: What to do and how to act

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Getting around during wildfires: What to do

Welcome to the dawn of a new era in which tourism in Quebec is affected by climate change. These changes are forcing us to pause in order to reflect and to question ourselves, both as travelers and as a tourist destination. They challenge us to develop a deeper connection with our environment, while at the same time realizing the beauty of the land and the importance of our actions as we travel through it.

This article will help you discover the activities available in the region and the way to practice them in an eco-friendly way.

Your guide: M. Sansflamme

It's me again, M.Sansflamme, an Eeyou Istchee Baie-James enthusiast and great friend of the forest. My mission, as your savvy guide, is to advise you on how to travel safely during the wildfires season. We will learn and grow together as we explore Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, because even in this new reality, the adventure is just beginning!

How to adopt a super conscious behavior?

Planning a getaway to the beautiful region of Eeyou Istchee Baie-James? Adopting environmentally friendly behavior is essential. Not sure where to start? Don't panic, I'm here to give you a few tips on how to make the most of your stay while staying safe and respecting the land.

First, let's talk cigarettes. As we've already discussed, a single spark can start a forest fire, and in this case, even a single cigarette butt can cause considerable damage. Every year, around 80 wildfires are started by cigarette butts. So be sure to crush your butt on a rock or wet it before throwing it into an ashtray. It's especially important to avoid smoking while walking or driving. You never know where that little glowing end might end up!

Let's now talk about campfires! Ah, the pleasure of gathering around a campfire under the stars... But beware: a poorly controlled fire can quickly become dangerous. Before you light a match, always consult our friends at SOPFEU to make sure there are no fire bans. Choose an open spot away from trees and your tent and above all, use a spark arrester. This little tool can prevent sparks escaping and setting fire to nearby brushwood. And don't forget: a good campfire is a supervised one. Never leave it alone and keep a supply of water on hand to extinguish it quickly, if necessary.

Finally, let's talk about all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). These vehicles can cause fires if not used properly. For instance, never park your ATV in undergrowth, as the heat from the engine could ignite the vegetation. It's always a good idea to carry a fire extinguisher: you never know when an accident could happen!  Finally, please stay on the trails, especially when the risk of fire is high.

That's it! By following these good practices, not only will you have a memorable stay, but you'll also be helping to preserve this incredible ecosystem. So have a great trip and remember: nature is our home and it's our duty to take care of it!

Year-round activities

The Eeyou Istchee Baie-James region also offers a multitude of activities that are not restricted to nature and are well worth exploring.

Before your visit, why not support the region by purchasing native handicrafts? The Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association offers a variety of unique creations that reflect the know-how and culture of local communities. Their online boutique called "Wachiya", which means "Hello" in Cree, allows you to explore and admire the expertise behind each of these arts and crafts products from the comfort of your home. Each piece is unique, meticulously crafted and detailed. Discover their various collections on their website.

If you prefer a gourmet experience, don't miss the Microbrasserie Maître Renard. Founded in 2021 by four enthusiasts, this microbrewery offers local beers brewed with non-timber products from the boreal forest. A great way to discover the unique flavors of the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James region! Take a guided tour of the facilities to learn about the brewing process and taste some of their beers. For more information and to plan your visit, check out their Facebook page.

Take a wonderful journey through fragrances straight from nature! Visit BoreA SENS, an eco-responsible company based in Chapais, and discover fragrances that will remind you of the boreal forest. You can also take a guided tour of their essential oil distillery. Contact them for more information!

The sky and the stars await you at the Planétarium Quasar ! Pierre Bruneau, an artist with a passion for astronomy, will introduce you to the different constellations of our celestial vault in a sensational exhibition! Call 418-748-4642 for more information, including schedules and rates!

Would you like to participate in an extraordinary family activity that brings out your creative and artistic side? Discover the mosaic and stained glass workshops organized by Jocelyne Grondin Arts & Vitrail. Create a unique work of art in an enchanting setting on the shores of Opémisca Lake near Chapais. Reservations are made directly on their website!

Chibougamau. Now in its 23rd year, this festival is the most important cultural event of the Nord-du-Québec region. You'll find a host of local artists gathered on 3e rue, as well as many other major shows! Every year, this event presents an exceptional musical program, a platform for local artists, and a wide range of convivial activities. To find out more, visit the Facebook page of the event.

If you're planning to extend the festivities into August, take part in Chapais en fête in the town of Chapais on August 12th! This event features high-quality, professional cultural performances for residents and tourists alike, while showcasing local cultural organizations. Fun, music and activities are guaranteed!

Choosing these activities lets you discover another facet of the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James region while supporting local artisans and participating in unique experiences. On your next trip, get ready for an amazing exploration!

Your toolbox and resources for your stay!

We're delighted to welcome you to Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, and we want your stay to be safe and trouble-free. To that end, we've put together a series of essential tools and resources to help you explore our territory.

To stay informed daily about potential fire threats, restrictions in effect, as well as any forest access prohibitions, don't hesitate to consult SOPFEU's platforms, including their mobile app and website:

Before you travel, plan ahead: some roads on the territory may be closed. For current road conditions, consult Québec 511 or the Société de développement de la Baie-James (SDBJ).

Here are a few useful links to help you plan your trip:

Together, we can make your stay an unforgettable experience, while respecting and protecting the natural environment


Duval, A. (2018, 22 juillet). Comment faire un feu sécuritaire en forêt? ICI Radio-Canada. Repéré le 12 juillet 2023 à

Société de protection des forêts contre le feu. (s.d.). Articles de fumeur. SOPFEU. Repéré le 12 juillet 2023 à

Société de protection des forêts contre le feu. (s.d.). Véhicule tout-terrain. SOPFEU. Repéré le 12 juillet 2023 à