Follow standard procedures

THE Task Force for Bush Fires and Emergency Water has warned canefarmers in the North to follow standard procedures when burning cane.

Consisting of government stakeholders, the taskforce has been set up by the Commissioner Northern’s Office to look into the effects of the prolonged dry period in the North and to assist members of the public cope with the current climatic conditions.

Speaking at the taskforce’s proposal meeting yesterday, Labasa FSC mill representative Amrika Prasad said most farmers continued to ignore the proper procedures needed to be taken before burning any cane farm. He said farmers needed to inform their field officers and sector officers if they intended to burn their cane.

“There are requirements that need to be followed by any canefarmers before the actual process of burning takes place and this includes the construction of a proper firebreaker,” he said.

“Burning needs to be undertaken during the morning and evening and not around any time of the day because of the danger in fire getting out of control.

“Once informed, the field officers will then inspect the firebreakers to certify whether they are up to standard.”

Mr Prasad said about 400 to 500 canefarmers in the North were still harvesting cane and they needed to take heed of these requirements.

Meanwhile, Labasa FSC mill chief engineer Vilikesa Vatubuli told the taskforce farmers were now opting to burn their cane in an effort to send their harvest to the mill before it ceased operations in about four weeks time.

As part of its proposal the taskforce will work closely with the Sugar Cane Growers Council in creating awareness to farmers on the need for such procedures to be followed.

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