Fiji THE Ministry of Forests plans to put out a strategy concept paper by May this year to address forest fires.
Forest Conservator Eliki Senivasa said they would liaise with stakeholders like the National Fire Authority for consultation purposes.
Mr Senivasa said they would also work with specialists on forest fires from Australia to assist them with the concept paper.
“There is a dire need to do something about our forests because people are too irresponsible despite awareness training,” he said.
“We cannot afford to lose forest covers because of the carelessness of a few people who fail to take necessary precautions.
“The concept paper will safeguard our forests and ensure that those who fail to do so are taken to task.”
Mr Senivasa said Fiji needed to seriously manage its forest fires now before it is too late.
“We will take people to court if they are found doing unnecessary burning of fields because these are ways that can help strengthen the fire regulation,” he said.
“Pine trees are prone to fire in the deep forest because of the chemicals that it contains and it also grows on grasslands and it’s in the dry land areas whereas native trees have the low risk of catching fire because it grows on the wet, cloudy part of the land.
“The ministry has a code of logging practice which contains all the important requirements it addresses the logging issues, environmental issues, health, OHS, and other requirements.”