THE Ministry of Fisheries and Forests has again reminded the public against the illegal burning of forests in the Northern Division.
In an interview in Labasa yesterday, ministry's monitoring, compliance and surveillance project officer Sailosi Taniela said while they were yet to disclose the number of the illegal practices, they continued to reach out to the public with their awareness programs.
"We are aware of the burning of forests and this is not only a case here in the North but the other parts of Fiji," he said.
"The burning of forests has negative impacts on the environment.
"It degrades the soil and also causes the top layer of the soil to erode.
"It also affects the quality of the soil and the environment as a whole.
"Some might unintentionally burn the forests and some mean to initiate the activity. Some cite this illegal activity to get back at another person and we are humbly requesting people to refrain from doing such acts."
Mr Taniela said people could face hefty penalties if found guilty of the illegal practice.
"People can be penalised if they are found guilty of burning the forests.
"The forests play a very significant role in our environment and it's only proper we preserve them."