Pine forest protection

Pine forest protection

05 October 2013

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Fiji — POLICE have implemented new measures to reduce the high number of pine forest fire cases in the Western Division.

Deputy divisional police commander West SP Verani Nakauyaca said strict measures were being put in place by the Fiji Police Force.

He said the new measures included restricted access into Fiji Pine leased areas with all visitors having to seek approval.

SP Nakauyaca said anyone caught trespassing would face prosecution.

“No one will be allowed to light a fire within a one kilometre radius of all Fiji Pine leased areas.

“Farmers must ensure that all their livestock remain within their boundary.

“We will be more vigilant in policing this issue and people are being forewarned that they could be facing charges if they are found to be intentionally causing these fires.”

He said the high number of reported pine fires was becoming a concern because of the associated costs of firefighting and forest loss.

“Over the last three months, we have noted an increase in the number of reported fires and after consultations with Fiji Pine we have decided to do something to curb the incidents.”

He said people needed to be more cautious considering the associated costs not only to people’s livelihoods but also the impact of forest loss to the economy.

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