Canegrower bows out as Pialba blaze attracts a crowd
A CANE fire lit up the night sky for the final time at a property in Pialba, next to Bunnings, on Monday night.
Property owner Keith Messer, 70, has decided to retire and asked the rural firies to set and monitor the blaze on his land.
Hervey Bay Rural Fire Brigade group officer Don Duffus said rural firefighters from Nikenbah and Dundowran managed the fire on the 4.9ha (12-acre) property.
He said Mr Messer had asked them to do it because the fires had been hijacked by arsonists in the past, with people using sticks to spread the fire further than intended.
"He was concerned it might happen again," Mr Duffus said.
He said it was becoming rare to see cane fires as technological advances meant the cane could now be picked green.
"It used to be a common event because the cane had to be burnt to be harvested," Mr Duffus said.
The fire had attracted a large crowd to the centre of town.
"The crowd was nearly as big as the crowd at the fireworks for the whale festival," Mr Duffus said.