IF YOU ARE WONDERING why cane fires are allowed during fire emergencies it’s because the farmers obtain permits.
On site during a burn the cane farmer has numerous farmers helping and working with him to control the burn with tractors and water. Critical to the success of these burns is working with the weather conditions.
Many cane farmers are in actual fact volunteers in our local RFS units because of their expert knowledge in back burning.
Our cane farmers are mostly 4th and 5th generation and have grown up in and around fire, it is in their blood.
Do not be mislead into believing you can light your fire, just because the cane farmer does !
Cane grown in NSW is mostly 2 year old cane and in QLD it is 1 year old which is why there is a need to burn the paddock.
The sugar industry has been operational in the Clarence Valley since 1858 and is the southern gateway to the Australian sugar industry.
The Harwood Mill is the last remaining Australian owned and operated sugar mill in Australia.
This industry supports more than 500 farming families and over 1,000 direct and indirect employees on the NSW North Coast.
Their farming footprint covers 34,000 hectares with up to 2.4 million tonnes of cane grown and 275,000 tonnes of raw sugar produced each year.
These operations contribute over $200 million dollars to the Northern Rivers economy. Of this, $94 million is in the Clarence Valley.
Many cane farmers are also professional fisherman in the off season and grow other crops like macadamias and tea tree.
Here is a little video to show you what it looks like during a cane fire burn.
Video shared by Debrah Novak – 15 November
Information regarding sugar cane burning on Total Fire Ban days as per Total Fire Ban Rules available on the NSWRFS website.
Fire is lit, maintained or used between the hours of 5 pm and 7 am Australian Eastern Standard Summer Time for a purpose associated with the harvesting of sugar cane provided that:
the fire is lit, maintained or used in a manner that will prevent the escape of the fire, and
adequate fire fighting equipment is provided at the site of the fire to prevent the escape or spread of the fire, and
the fire is under the direct control of a responsible adult person who is present at all times until it is fully extinguished, and
the person who lights the fire has complied with the requirements of section 87 of the Rural Fires Act 1997, and the conditions set out in any permit issued there under.
The commissioner may cancel this exemption at their discretion.