Fiji — THE financial loss from indiscriminate pine fires is expected to surpass about $1million incurred last year, says Fiji Pine Ltd operations manager Asesela Cokanacagi.
“Last year, it nearly rounded up to about a million dollars, but I think this year will probably be more,” Mr Cokanacagi said.
He said the dry weather was expected to last another two months but the industry was confident the formation of a taskforce had aided their efforts to discourage bushfires.
“At the moment, the situation is improving.
“There is a lot of consultation by the Fiji Pine management and the taskforce has really improved things a lot, especially in the sugarcane sectors because one of the main causes of fire, for Fiji Pine, is standing cane fires that spread to the pine plantation.
“These fires are common in all the plantations and we are sending a strong message to villagers and communities not to burn during this critical period.”
The taskforce, headed by acting Commissioner Western Luke Moroivalu, was formed late last month to address the prevalence of uncontrollable bushfires rampant in the division.