Setting fire to the Sugar Cane
Setting fire to the Sugar cane in Australia is one of those "soon to die" traditions.
Across Far Northern Queensland from Mackay northwards to Cairns early evenings in July and August are marked by the sugar cane fires.
As the wind drops and the sun dips to the horizon the farmers go out with their cans of liquid fire and drop it at the bottom the cane fields. Seconds later the fields erupt into fireballs of fire that last for less than a minute.
The fire burns off the excess and clears away the wild life for harvesting in the early hours of the following morning.
The surrounding towns get a phenomenon known as "black snow" as the ash rains down for miles around.
We had the fun of setting one of these cane fields alight near Ayr. The farmer was diappointed with this blaze! We were delighted - and terrified!
24 x 20" acrylic 2002. © Timmy Mallett
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