06/27/2014 07:23 EDT | Updated 08/27/2014 05:59 EDT

Open campfire ban takes effect today in Quebec forests

Quebec’s forest fire prevention agency is banning open fires near forests across the province starting today.

Officials say the ban is necessary because of the heat and dry conditions.

The ban was officially declared by Laurent Lessard, Quebec’s minister of forests, wildlife and parks, and takes effect today at 8 a.m.

Open fires are prohibited in the following areas:

Northern Québec: Jamésie south of latitude 52º, Eeyou Istchee (Waswanipi, Mistissini, Oujé-Bougoumou, Waskaganish, Nemiscau).

North Shore:Upper North Shore, Manicouagan, Sept-Rivières, Caniapiscau, Minganie excluding Anticosti Island.

Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean: Domaine-du-Roy, Lac-Saint-Jean-Est, Maria-Chapdelaine region south of Latitude 52º and the Fjord-du-Saguenay region south of Latitude 52º to Saguenay.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue: Rouyn-Noranda, Abitibi-West, Abitibi, La Vallée-de-l’Or, Témiscamingue region north of Latitude 47º.

Mauricie: La Tuque, Mékinac region north of Latitude 47º.

Outaouais: North of Latitude 47º, Gatineau Valley and Pontiac.

Laurentians: Antoine-Labelle region north of Latitude 47º.

Lanaudière: Matawinie region north of Latitude 47º.