Six farmers, including two women, have been arrested by the Ghana National Fire Service in Brong Ahafo for carrying and setting fire in the bush during the harmattan season.
Mr Kwasi Baffour-Awuah, Sunyani Municipal Commander of the Service, told the GNA that the farmers were arrested during a normal patrol in the bush by personnel of the Service and had since been handed over to the Police for prosecution.
He said Yaa Sikayena, James Kwaku Yeboah, Kwadwo Agyeman, Akosuah Henewaa, Kwabena Nkrumah and Francis Amo were arrested during separate operations at Donsesre, Nsoatre and Baakoniaba, all in Sunyani Municipality.
Mr Kwasi Baffour-Awuah said a joint taskforce comprising personnel of the Service, Police and the Military would be formed next week to patrol the bush to prevent bushfires this year.
He noted that the harmattan this year needed special attention to save the situation from getting out of hand, adding that the Service had attended to 14 fire cases in the Municipality since the beginning of the year.
He said the prosecution of the six farmers in court would serve as a deterrent to others and urged the public to report offenders to the Police.
Mr Kwasi Baffour-Awuah entreated the general public to be very cautious about the use of fire and asked farmers, who wanted to prepare their land for planting, to inform the Service for assistance.
He called on Assembly Members and traditional authorities to educate the people on the dangers of fire outbreaks and their effects on the national economy.