Quebec forestry haulers out of work in face of fires

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Forest fires raging across Quebec have interrupted logging operations, and by extension, the log haulers who support them.

The Association nationale des camionneurs artisans inc (ANCAI) estimates that at least 150 to 200 independent truckers are currently out of work in the province.

“No income. We always get paid for what we haul. We’re paid by the ton, by the weight we carry,” general manager Gaétan Légaré told Transport Routier.

logging truck
(File photo: istock)

And the industry is dominated by single-truck operators who might otherwise call on additional truck drivers to keep equipment running around the clock.

“It’s a bit random. They close a sector and then reopen it. What’s going to be worrying is the aftermath. Because there’s a time limit to get this wood before it rots if they want it to be used,” Légaré said.

To compound matters, many of the truckers’ family members have also been displaced.

“All the carriers in the Chibougamau area have been evacuated as families, as residents,” he explains.

Association meetings are scheduled over the next few days to take stock of the situation, but representatives of forestry carriers in northwestern Quebec are unable to participate.

“Not everyone from the Abitibi region is able to come down. They’re staying put to try and save what they can. It’s not funny, it’s worrying,” Légaré says. “I hope Mother Nature will help us.”

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Eric Berard is a journalist and translator specialized in trucking and logistics. Multiple award winner over his 30-year career, he contributes to trade publications such as Today's Trucking, Truck News and Transport Routier, as he previously did for Montreal daily newspapers La Presse's and Le Devoir's financial pages. With Political Analysis as a university educational background, he’s comfortable with topics that cover a wide spectrum of our society . He can be reached at

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