Cane burning advice

POLICE have reiterated the need for farmers to burn their cane fields during the day in light of the predicted prolonged dry weather conditions.

While it is logical that burning cane assists farmers in harvesting their cane crop, it has also been identified as a contributing factor to uncontrolled fires.

Speaking during the fourth Bush Fires and Emergency Water meeting at the Macuata provincial administrator’s conference room in Labasa yesterday, deputy divisional police commander Northern SSP Fulori Rainibogi said the burning of cane was becoming a worrying issue.

“Since the commencement of the crushing season this year, we have so far recorded 109 cases of fire at various cane fields on Vanua Levu,” SSP Rainibogi said.

“Some farmers burn their fields because it helps them harvest their crops but sometimes, it’s uncontrollable and this is when the problem starts. It’s easier to burn cane fields in the morning or in the afternoon but not during day time.

“This is because the chances of fire spreading from one point to another are very high given the windy and dry weather conditions.”

She said it was critically important for people to take the first step and prevent fire.

“So far, no one has been charged as a result of burning cane fields intentionally but we are working closely with other stakeholders to monitor the situation on the ground.”