The processing plant at Stornoway Diamond's Renard mine in Quebec. Renard closed for two days due to a forest fire in the area. Courtesy of Stornoway Diamond

Stornoway Diamonds' Renard mine in northern Quebec reopened Wednesday after closing briefly due to a forest fire in the area.

Stornoway said Tuesday that rain and a shift in wind patterns over the last 48 hours had helped contain the fire, and would allow the mine to resume operation.

The fire came within 100 metres of the mine’s access road, and was 12.6 kilometres south of the mine itself. Stornoway said that the fire had reached a size of 18 km long and six km wide. It also got within four kilometres of Stornoway’s Clarence and Abel Swallow Airport.

Stornoway CEO Matt Manson said in a tweet that 251 Renard employees were evacuated and operations suspended on Monday, with 37 people remaining behind in “essential roles.”

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There are 36 fires currently burning in Quebec as of Tuesday morning, according to SOPFEU, the Quebec forest protection agency, most of them started by human activity. SOPFEU says the fire at Renard was started by a lightning strike. More rain is expected in the area tomorrow.

Renard is located in Quebec’s James Bay region, 650 km north of Quebec City.

Eastern Canada has seen a recent heatwave that has sent temperatures soaring well into the mid-30s. Quebec has imposed a campfire ban this year to prevent campers from inadvertently sparking wildfires.

This season has been slightly worse than average for wildfires in Quebec, with about 350 this year compared to slightly less than 300 this time last year.