n FARMERMichael McDonald stands in the middle of his canefield which was set alight by firebugs on Monday night. It was the fou
n FARMERMichael McDonald stands in the middle of his canefield which was set alight by firebugs on Monday night. It was the fou

ARSON ATTACK

By SAMANTHA HEALY

MICHAEL McDonald cast a despairing glance at his ruined cane crop before angrily declaring enough was enough.

Mr McDonald's cane farm on Commercial Road was the target of another arson attack in Murwillumbah early yesterday morning.

Local firefighters have confirmed as many as four arson attacks have occured on Murwillumbah cane properties in the past month, in the midst of the sugar cane burning season.

The fire, attended by two NSWRural Fire Service units and one NSW Fire Brigade truck, took about three hours to extinguish.

"The wind and terrain made it difficult for us," Murwillumbah fire station captain Greg Hayes said.

Senior Constable Michael Sutton of Tweed Heads Police said the remoteness of the area would hinder investigations and he called on the community for any information about the incident.

Frustrated and concerned, Mr McDonald appealed to his small community to report suspicious behaviour.

"It's a small town and someone knows something," Mr McDonald said.

Walking through the burnt cane crops, Mr McDonald said it was hard to tell how much money he had lost following the fire.

"I have lost about one hectare of sugarcane," Mr McDonald said.

"It's an inconvenience and it's dangerous to the firefighters who have to put it out.

"We have had enough."

Neighbour Michael O'Connor and Tweed Canegrowers president Graham Martin said arson and other unruly behaviour were ongoing problems in the region.

"Bins, cars and canefields are regularly set alight by firebugs," Mr Martin said.

"It is becoming a real concern."

Mr O'Connor said on the same night the fire in his neighbour's field was lit, he also heard hoons racing on the road and breaking cane in their field.

"I'd say at that time of morning, the culprits are probably locals," Mr O'Connor said.

"It could be a grudge but it's probably that they are just bored."

Mr Hayes said he had been to at least three fires himself, including Tuesday morning's at the McDonald property.

He said the fires were a concern, stressing how serious the situation could be if left to get out of hand.

"If they light fires at the wrong time, in the wrong place or in the wrong conditions there could be serious damage to property or even lives," Mr Hayes said.

Picture:

Craig Sadler D100684

ARSONATTACK

By SAMANTHA HEALY

MICHAEL McDonald cast a despairing glance at his ruined cane crop before angrily declaring enough was enough.

Mr McDonald's cane farm on Commercial Road was the target of another arson attack in Murwillumbah early yesterday morning.

Local firefighters have confirmed as many as four arson attacks have occured on Murwillumbah cane properties in the past month, in the midst of the sugar cane burning season.

The fire, attended by two NSWRural Fire Service units and one NSW Fire Brigade truck, took about three hours to extinguish.

"The wind and terrain made it difficult for us," Murwillumbah fire station captain Greg Hayes said.

Senior Constable Michael Sutton of Tweed Heads Police said the remoteness of the area would hinder investigations and he called on the community for any information about the incident.

Frustrated and concerned, Mr McDonald appealed to his small community to report suspicious behaviour.

"It's a small town and someone knows something," Mr McDonald said.

Walking through the burnt cane crops, Mr McDonald said it was hard to tell how much money he had lost following the fire.

"I have lost about one hectare of sugarcane," Mr McDonald said.

"It's an inconvenience and it's dangerous to the firefighters who have to put it out.

"We have had enough."

Neighbour Michael O'Connor and Tweed Canegrowers president Graham Martin said arson and other unruly behaviour were ongoing problems in the region.

"Bins, cars and canefields are regularly set alight by firebugs," Mr Martin said.

n Continued Page 2

n From Page 1

"It is becoming a real concern."

Mr O'Connor said on the same night the fire in his neighbour's field was lit, he also heard hoons racing on the road and breaking cane in their field.

"I'd say at that time of morning, the culprits are probably locals," Mr O'Connor said.

"It could be a grudge but it's probably that they are just bored."

Mr Hayes said he had been to at least three fires himself, including Tuesday morning's at the McDonald property.

He said the fires were a concern, stressing how serious the situation could be if left to get out of hand.

"If they light fires at the wrong time, in the wrong place or in the wrong conditions there could be serious damage to property or even lives," Mr Hayes said.



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