FIRE has wiped out a $20,000 Maryborough cane crop just weeks after suspected arsonists destroyed a field of similar value at the Pocket.
Sam and Norm Muller could smell the familiar smoke coming in the windows of their Walkers Point home on Sunday afternoon but it wasn't until a relative raised the alarm that they realised the fire was on their own property.
"The neighbours called the rural fire brigade and we all ran down to help," Ms Muller said
"It was all hands on deck for a while there but about 24 acres was destroyed," she said.
Unlike a fire which tore through the Stevens property at the Pocket last month-fuelled by what appeared to be three deliberately lit fires, the Mullers suspect their fire may have been sparked by an electric fence wire, damaged by recent frosts which had already tainted precious crops.
Mr Muller said it was be a case of "salvaging what we can", cutting what was left and hoping for better luck next year.
It's another blow for the region's cane farms struggling through one of the worst seasons in decades.
At least 10 staff have been let go from the Maryborough Sugar Factory which will crush five days a week, instead of the usual seven, from next Monday.